Writing

On Track in Memphis Press Release, 2009

The following is a sample of a press release about a temporary exhibit at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis. I was tasked with the creation of this, in the interest of drumming up interest in a larger article from tourism publications. 

In a small town, a car waits at a stop sign while a train rattles by. Along the block-long downtown strip, customers gaze at their reflections in the shop windows. Elsewhere, a man sits on the edge of the loading dock of a warehouse, while his coworkers mill about and talk about football.

No one notices when a giant hand reaches down and snaps up a pickup truck to replace it with a semi truck. No one makes a move to help unload the fresh load. In fact, no one moves at all.

That's because this small town is truly small. It is, in fact, less than one percent of full size. That giant hand belongs to Ralph, and this intricately detailed town is his creation. Ralph didn't want to disclose his last name - he felt that credit should belong to Hugh Teaford, who heads up the Memphis Society of Model Railroaders, which presents "On Track in Memphis," a model train exhibit at the Pink Palace Museum.

At another table, Lee Hanna checks the tracks at a train yard and beams proudly when remembering how his grown son "knew his freight cars before he knew his primary colors."

The intensity of their pride in and love for model trains makes this exhibit something more than just a display of model trains. The care that clearly goes into every layout, every miniature building, and every tiny tree makes clear that this exhibit is an absolute labor of love.

When asked how much money has gone into the seemingly endless lengths of track on display at "On Track in Memphis," Hanna could only shake his head and say, "There is no way to measure that; it's just something we've built up and worked on for years."