My interest in the MoPac was solidified when my family moved from St. Louis to Little Rock in 1956 when I was 10 years old (Yes, Mr Ogden, I'm older than the Texas Eagle). I remember standing on Grand Ave bridge with my uncle and watching MoPac, Frisco and Wabash passenger trains depart St Louis.  When we moved to Little Rock our frequent trips back to St Louis were usually via MoPac#8 northbound and #21 South Texas Eagle southward (all passengers short of Dallas rode #21).  These trips deeply imprinted MoPac in my mind.

A close friend in Little Rock was also a model railroader and MoPac fan and we spent several Saturday afternoons at the station in Little Rock watching MoPac passenger trains and catching the industrial jobs in east end of Little Rock. If you want to get a feel for a day in Little Rock, read Fred Frailey's chapter on the MoPac in "Twilight of the Great Trains".  I sketched the day he describes from a train sheet and he wove a narrative.
My modeling interests led me to meet Jack See and encouragement to join the Arkansas Valley Model Railroad Club (now essentially disbanded). The AVMRC modeled from Little Rock to Newport in a space on the platform level of Little Rock Station.  Layout construction was frequently interrupted when everyone would leave the layout room to watch trains pass the station. At the club I caught up with Mike Adams who several years earlier had taught me the proper way to shoot a rifle in an NRA Boy Scout program. Mike certainly had a memory for MoPac history and other club members supported my early efforts at prototype modeling.  Another teenage kid that showed up frequently was Bill Pollard. 
After college, a stint in the Navy, and grad school I went to work for the UP in Omaha in 1980.  One of my first "big" jobs was working with the team that documented the benefits for the UP-MP-WP merger. While at UP I certainly was able to see firsthand the "Yellow" vs "Blue" management clash.