Godfrey Humann sits at the controls with his South Shasta Lines model trains in preparation for a special opening for Christmas while at his home on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 in Gerber, CA. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
I took a day to head out to Gerber, a small town between Chico and Red Bluff. I arrive to meet a man that I will always remember. He took several hours to show me around his miniature train set, and several hours it took. There was so much detail in all the buildings, trains, towns, people, and animals throughout the basement. Humann would show his train set every year to the many that came to see it for themselves.
The train passes through Dunsmuir as Godfrey Humann sets up his South Shasta Lines model trains in preparation for a special opening for Christmas while at his home on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 in Gerber, CA. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
I could watch his miniature display and never grow tired of all the detail that he had put into it. It was also his warm personality that kept me happy. He was not for profit or for lecture, he was to show people the trains to have them be like kids again. In Humann's time, trains were seen as great engineering achievements with such stability and strength that any kid always was amazed by the power of the locomotive. This love with the train was what he was hoping to bring to anybody who stepped into a world of amazement in his basement.
I was saddened to hear that he is gone. I am glad I was able to see the train set. When reflecting back I realized this was a story that the pictures gave just one aspect to the atmosphere of who he was. We have so many senses that vision can not always be superior. Sometimes we have to hear for ourselves what makes a person so great. So I leave the video I made of Godrey Humann (1912-2009).