Sonny Wizelman is well known in the small-scale live steam hobby for his ability to “weather” locomotives and rolling stock and has organized Southern California backyard steam-ups for almost two decades. He has built many interesting locomotives out of gathered parts and has written about his experiences frequently.
Born in Highland Park, IL, which is outside of Chicago, Sonny and his family moved to California before he was 5. When Sonny was a teenager there was a model train store near his home. He started with HO steam locomotive and caboose kits, which he built on his mother’s dining room table. She would put the pads on the table and some newspapers on top of the pads and he would build. Sonny states, "I think the real attraction all these years has been “building.”