Oscar's Dreamland has had a magnetic effect on me since I first heard the name, and now there is a book about it which brings back happy memories.
'Oscar's Dreamland' was the dream of Oscar O. Cooke, and he made it come true as a 'Yesteryear Museum at Billings, Montana, in a wondrous way.
At this Dreamland you can see hundreds of steam and gas engines, many of them antique rarities, which Oscar collected in a long and adventuresome and productive lifetime.
The book is suitably titled 'Oscar's Dreamland.' It is written and compiled by his daughter, Marcie Ann Cooke Limpp, and it contains information of value to all collectors, plus scores of photographs.
Oscar was a prince among men with a great brain, muscles of steel, and a zest for life hard to match. He was a warm-hearted host with an ability to conduct you through his establishment with the aid of a photographic memory that told the story of every exhibit.
My wife Margaret, and I met him first when we visited about 15 years ago with Jean and the late John Baucus, parents of the U. S. Senator Max Baucus. Oscar was hospitality personified.
I can see him, now, two stories high, in the cab of the 1906 Best steam engine in which he is shown on the front cover of the book. The paperback cover is in color, befitting a man as colorful as Oscar.
We visited a second time and were given the royal treatment by Oscar and Marcella, his devoted lovely wife. We won't forget. (See her obituary elsewhere in this issue.)
The book is useful for its history and excellent descriptions of individual engines. Marcie Ann has done a fascinating job and Oscar would be proud.
The book sells for $24.95 postage included. An Oscar's Dreamland video is also available, $29.95 postage included. Combined price for the two is $44.95. Send order with remittance to the publisher, Hayseed Publishing, 3100 Harrow Drive, Billings, MT 59102.