To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jean Deschenes July 11, 1932 - March 1, 2013

The following message was received on Saturday March 2, 2013 via email from Jean's wife Nancy,

"I am sorry to tell you that Jean passed away yesterday after spending over 2 weeks in the hospital with Legionaries Disease. He enjoyed knowing you and doing business with you over the years." 

Jean and I first met at an East Penn Traction Club Meeting. Jean had scratch built a model of the CSS&SB 1100 line car along with the a companion reel car for himself. 

Being a fan of the CSS I asked Jean to build a model of the 1100 for me. 

This was the start of a long friendship in which Jean scratch built a few models for me. Jean's style of building models was with the roofs attached to the sides of the car. The floors were removable. Car interiors were either attached to the floors and/or built on false floors which were attached to the sides of the model. He would often make the entire interior from wood, including the seats.

I prefer models where the roofs removable and the sides attached to the floor. Jean was flexible and adaptable in what he did.  He would be sent a list of very specific instructions with plans and photos along with the parts and sometimes sub-assemblies for the model.  The parts included lost wax or soft metal castings while others were made from epoxy or plastic.

Jean painted models with a brush using artist acrylic paint purchased from the local Micheal's store. His brush strokes were so even and well applied, it was extremely difficult to tell the model was not air brush spray painted.

Jean was always up for a challenge.  A model of the CA&E #11 line car was requested. I didn't have plans but instead only photos. To me this model best demonstates Jean's talents.

Jean painted #11 in the final painted scheme as was the prototype. 

Jean included what he thought the interior of a line car should have.

Photos taken through the rear door window of the model.

The side doors could be closed just in case it was too cold outside.

Jean included all the roof detail with a working, rotating platform for the line crew. The sides of the platform open up.

Jean did all the work you saw in the photos with the exception of a method of attaching the roof to the model

Because of my requirement for the  roof to be removable, Jean shipped the "finished" model to me to have the balance of the electrical connections completed and well as a method of anchoring the roof to the balance of the model.

Jean had a dry humor. All I had to do is to mention three words to him - "Old Orchard Beach". This would provide 5 to 10 minutes of comments. It is one of those things you had to have experienced for Jean's comments to make sense.

Jean and Nancy would go on vacation by taking a sailing cruise on one of the schooners which would travel in and about the islands off the coast of Maine. Besides making model of trolley he also made ship and other models.

As taken from Jean obituary notice, "The family requests that flowers be omitted and a donation made to THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF GRAFTON, 30 GRAFTON COMMON, GRAFTON, MA 01519."

Jean may you have "Fair Winds and Following Seas".



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