I had the privilege of actually seeing the G&D in its final year. John pointed out where the original 3'7" x 6'8" section was. His second section moved the turntable out of the original layout when the 15' section with the yard and the port area was added. The next expansion moved parts of the original layout and were modified to become Gorre and Daphetid. The final expansion took place over a period of about 10 years and included the floor to ceiling sections in Giant Canyon.
I have always been fascinated by the events surrounding the final demise of the G&D, just a week after John's death. As a police officer, the whole story never made sense to me. I knew a Monterrey County arson investigator, and he confirmed that they had several suspects in what he believed to be arson, but were never able to gather enough evidence to bring charges. The fact that the fire was reported by an unknown person just after it had enough time to burn down the layout, but not cause serious damage to any other part of the house, only adds to the mystery. There were stories that ranged all the way from an insurance fraud scheme to bitter rivalries by other well known model railroaders, but we will never know what really happened.
HO Scale Modeler