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Remembering Dale Stocks by George Hoffer
(reprinted article from the VTCA June Newsletter)
With sadness, the VTCA reports the passing on April 26, of Dale Douglas Stocks, Sr., owner of Dale’s Train Station in Norfolk, Tidewater’s largest hobby store. For over 40 years, Dale was a fixture on the Tidewater and TCA’s Eastern Division toy train scene.
In Tidewater, Dale will be remembered as the proprietor of his full service, fully- stocked, vintage layout- equipped hobby store. The store concentrated on new and used trains of all gauges, as well as vintage toys. The ‘back room’ contained showcases filled with collectible trains and toys. Many customers related that in this room they relived their childhood, as they found toys that they once had or wish that they could have had.
Long time VTCA members will remember that Dale’s initial toy train collecting interests focused on Gilbert American Flyer ‘S’. His interests broadened quickly, as he delved into the buying and selling of toy trains of all eras and gauges, as well as vintage toys. This success led him to open the first of several retail locations. Prior to that, Dale sold trains from his garage to those seeking vintage American Flyer trains.
VTCA members will remember the presentation Dale made to the Club at its November 2014 monthly meeting. Dale’s topic was his experiences as a toy train auctioneer and ‘tales’ from running his hobby shop.
With respect to the Eastern Division of TCA, two things stand out. First, for long time TCA / York attendees, Dale will be remembered as the licensed auctioneer who conducted the Friday night Fair Grounds auction on behalf of the Eastern Division. Second, and more recently, he will be remembered for ‘holding fort’ at the top of the Holidome parking lot hill during ‘York Week’. From this vantage point, Dale oversaw his multiple tents filled with trains and vintage toys as he sat next to his shiny black F-150 listening to music.
The VTCA and all of Tidewater will greatly miss Dale. Rest in Peace!
Brad Rock (VTCA 11-1320 of Brad’s Train Repair in Tidewater) and Dale’s Train Station’s new General Manager, assisted in writing this tribute.
Dale’s family has Reopened Dale’s Train Station (as of June 10, 2020) and intend to continue the tradition of Trains and Toys for the Young and the Young-at-Heart of Tidewater and beyond. ...
VTCA Charlottesvile Summer Train Show has been Cancelled, for the health and safety of all. We look forward to seeing you soon. Stay tuned for the next opportunity!
The June Newsletter is being mailed out today and the Newsletter was emailed out yesterday.
If you were supposed to receive the email version, but didn't, check your spam folder, or you might have unintentionally 'unsubscribed.' Please contact VTCI@wheeler.com for email delivery or email update issues.
Members may also find the Newsletter online, in the 'Members Only' area of VaTrainCollectors.com. ...
2 months ago
DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On
June 9, 2020 - With the scheduled closing of M.T.H. Electric Trains next year, support for the DCS Digital Command System and the Proto-Sound 3.0 onboard locomotive systems will continue through a new independent company headed up by current M.T.H. staff once direct M.T.H. support for the systems concludes on June 1, 2021.
The new tech company will continue to manufacture and provide support including any necessary software updates to the DCS hardware or DCS WiFi App. In fact, new and exciting product ideas are currently under development.
The DCS System controls any Proto-Sound 2.0 and later equipped locomotives and first debuted 18 years ago. It has been an integral part of the M.T.H. product line family since its inception and its continuation beyond the closing of M.T.H. is an important part of the transition envisioned by retiring M.T.H. president Mike Wolf.
As the retirement transition process moves forward, more details about the new company's creation and ongoing development of M.T.H.'s technology packages will be announced. Stay tuned. ...