I was checking in on the site like I periodically do, and I wanted to post something about my bud Mike, seeing how it's been over 5 years since I was last able to talk to him...
I was the one who originally convinced him to make a Skype account (He originally thought Skype was a cell provider haha) so we could voice chat without having to deal with the finicky Yahoo Messenger voice chat, so from early 2010 to mid 2011 we talked pretty regularly and pretty soon we had a "Mike's Railroad Crossing Site Group Chat" featuring some of the regulars of the site at that time.
He eventually added me as an admin on the forums, and I was an admin on here from 2010-2013, minus a short time in 2011 where we bickered for a short time but we did sort everything out in the end, thank god.
I still miss him greatly, I miss chatting about Crossings, Video Games, and Music, it's a shame he wasn't able to stay around a bit longer, as The Beach Boys started making a new album as well as going on their 50th anniversary tour about 4 months after he passed away and they were his favorite band, so he would of loved to see/heard that.... Although knowing him, he would have found something to complain about haha.
I wish I could of said something better to him as "last words" but how was I supposed to know that it would be my final chance to talk to him, he actually sounded pretty normal. Anyways the final words I said to him were... "Be right back" Then he had to get going in the 20 minutes I was gone ...Oh well I guess there are worse things I could of said heh.
Anyways, Mike, your site currently isn't exactly what you may have wanted but hopefully all is well in heaven... any teardrop bells up there? hah.
I kinda wish I could've met Mike. I had joined after he was already dead, so I never got to chat with him. He sounds like he was a great guy. While the site may not be anywhere close to how it was a few years ago when Mike was still alive, I'm pretty sure he probably would've wanted the rest of us to keep it running in his honor. That's what Tommy and I plan on trying to keep doing, at least.
R.I.P. HMCR 8933; 1951-2013. Hasn't been moved since it was put next to Huntsville High School in 2015.
Send me or any other admin a PM/e-mail if you want to submit crossing photos to the site!
freebrickproductions wrote:I kinda wish I could've met Mike. I had joined after he was already dead, so I never got to chat with him. He sounds like he was a great guy. While the site may not be anywhere close to how it was a few years ago when Mike was still alive, I'm pretty sure he probably would've wanted the rest of us to keep it running in his honor. That's what Tommy and I plan on trying to keep doing, at least.
Pretty sad. But if we work together, we'll be able to keep the site running for a long time!
Metro, why do you keep removing Mechanical bells?!
It's hard to be believe it's 5 years already. Feels like yesterday I was chatting with him on Yahoo and Skype. I remember the ol' days group chatting on Skype with the 3 Mikes (Hickok, Gillson, and Kight) and a few others, although I barely talked; I'm sure you would've had a blast David. I still have a video of one of our chats back in the day that I need to find and post soon. Mike, thank you for growing my interest of railroad crossings, and David, Gillson, and I will do our best to keep the site going for many years to come.
This website was my childhood. Seriously, it was. And I still look at it from time to time to bring back my childhood. I was saddened when I found out about Mike's death. My grandfather and him would talk from time to time, and I have every one of his DVDs still. I will be going to the Orange Empire Railway Museum this Sunday and I will go to the signal garden in honor of him. Miss ya, bud.
Welcome to the forum, Below40Railfan! Glad to have you here.
Thought I would give my story about this site since how I posted my thoughts on Mike already.
I first discovered this site around late 2007- mid 2008 while looking on Weatherdan's old site dedicated to his fire alarm collection. I found it amazing that people went out and took pictures of all the crossings in their areas. I also learned all my basics from the extras page about the differences in L.E.D. and Incandescent lights, Mechanical/ Electronic bells, Triangle and Fiberglass gates, etc. I also found it amazing that people owned the bells, lights, signs, and even full scale signals. This site was all I needed.
Fast forward to 2010-2011 and Mike was facing financial issues and was going to shut down the site. Users like TrainmanKight and CSXRailfan2 would NOT let it die and even wanted to donate their money to pay for HostMd's bills. Mike decided to leave the sight up for another year before pulling the plug. Sadly, Mike passed away a few months later.
One of the things I had always wanted to do was send photos of the signals to the page and post in this forum. The rule at the time however was that you had to be eighteen or older to join, and that you had to post nonstop to stay. In mid 2012, I remember commenting something about wanting to join on one of Kight's now removed videos where he removed a mechanical bell from a crossing during maintenance. I was allowed to join and that's where we are today.
I've just collected my first three or so crossing pictures, and I'm preparing them for e-mail right now.
I discovered this site in 2009 after watching some videos on YouTube of crossings, then checked back every now and then to see if I could register on the forums yet (which was not allowed at the time, because Mike only wanted 18+ individuals ). May he rest in peace, though!