The Final Days of the Port Richmond
Photos and text by Ronald J. Vassallo
Layout by Don Spiro
I don't exactly remember when I first met Don Spiro but I believe it was at a society meeting in 1999. I felt like we had known each other for years and I looked forward to each occasion we got together, especially when we visited his basement layout, The Port Richmond. In a modest sized room Don was able to put together an operating layout that many have talked about but few will ever accomplish. His modeling skills are many but if I had to pick one that I feel he is most gifted with I would have to say it's his talent at building structures. His attention to detail, especially prototypical pieces, rivals Rich Cobb. Don always kept "fun" at the forefront of his operations and there were always trains running. He had just started to scenic portions of the layout which you can see in the following photos but fate intervened and Don and his family have decided to move out to Arizona and the PR is being dismantled shortly. The have purchased a beautiful home and Don already has plans for a Port Richmond II in the garage. I was able to get together with Don and a few other O&WRHS members for a farewell run and I hope the following photos pay tribute to a fabulous layout and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Best of Luck Don!