In Appreciation

Since the title of this section is Appreciation, I should begin by expressing my appreciation to my wife, who has always been supportive of my hobby.  I understand that in some homes this is not the case.  And I should also thank my daughter for her artwork and computer support particularly with the development of decals.
Let me state at the outset that I have no financial affiliation with any of the businesses I am about to identify or have previously identified other than the fact that I spend my money on or with them.  I mention these hobby shops because without them, the early decades/pre-internet of my hobby would have been impossible, and because I love the hands-on experience with figures, accessories, tools, and paints that hobby shops make possible.
Furthermore, my relationship with these shops, my Saturday morning visits, gives me pleasure.  In economic tough times and good, I want the shops to prosper because I want them to be there for me.  In recent years, many hobby shops have fallen on hard times because of direct sales on the internet.  People go to their local hobby shop if they are fortunate enough to have one, check the items on the shelves, and then go online and buy direct for less.  I tend to do the opposite.  If I see something online that I like (I’m a regular internet surfer), I will go to my local hobby shop and see if they have the item(s) or can get it for me.  It may cost me a little more in the short run, but if I don’t support these shops, they will go away, and I simply don’t want that to happen.  Through my decades of patronage of these shops, I have learned my craft.  I owe them my support, and I would simply like to say “thank you” to the following:

Arnie’s Trains: 6452 Industry Way, Westminster, CA 92683 (714) 373-4782
www.arniestrains.com
Brookhurst Hobbies: 12188 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, CA 92840 (714) 636-3580
www.brookhursthobbies.com
The Last Grenadier: 820 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 848-9144
The Military Shop: 2009 Palo Verde Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815 (562) 493-1612
The War House: 630 W. Willow St., Long Beach, CA 90806 (562) 424-3180

I should point out, as indicated above, I do use the internet.  If I can’t get an item through my local hobby shop, I buy direct.  For example, I recently purchased 15-mm WACO gliders and a 15-mm Ju 52 online from Armaments In Miniature (beautiful items and great service). 
Sites of interest:
www.angelfire.com/nj4/armamentsinminiature/home.htm
www.perry-miniatues.com
http://oldglory15s.com/catalog
www.essexminiatures.co.uk
www.mondayknight.com
www.peterpig.co.uk
www.missing-lynx.com
http://resistantroosters.com
www.thewarstore.com/CorvusBelli15mm.html
www.wargamesfoundry.com/main.asp
www.edwardrhamilton.com

The fact is the worldwide web has made available wonderful options and a variety of products that would never have been available to me otherwise, and I am deeply grateful that I am hobbying in the internet age.