ears back, my Cuesta Grade layout was part of the Orlando session rotation – we ran it from 2000 to 2018 or so. Then work and life got in the way.
I decided, after a year of inactivity, to get the layout running again. This would require dusting (old house and a cat), track cleaning, and running/oiling the fleet of engines. So I started work on this, announcing my eminent return.
At work, I was a lead for a software team AND a compliance guy for our organization. What I didn’t realize was that (in another organization) two managers didn’t understand their basic process requirements – they were not getting changes approved, reviewed and then manager-signed. For years. Auditors caught them cold. My corporation could face tens of millions of dollars of fines and stock market losses for this. Even though it was in no way my fault (or even my jurisdiction) I tossed my hat in the ring and worked with the corporate compliance officer to backtrack one year’s worth of production software patches. That’s going back along every step for every production change, all 3500 of them. It took five months of 18 hour days (six- or seven-day weeks) to track everything down. Saved the company a mountain of cash, got praise from the VP and some stock options. And the layout got dustier.
For my final year with the company, I became the go-to guy for all things compliance. Very busy. Finally retired in late ’19. Took a few months off to sleep late, ride my bike, and slip into our favorite breakfast nook without the weekend lines. Very nice.
So now it’s February of 2020. Once again, I declare my intentions to get the layout running. And just as everything was staged up, all engines purring, all cards in their slots, Covid hit.
Just as it faded, I told everyone again I’d get the layout running. Just in time for the Delta variant. The boy cried wolf again.
In 2022, it seemed we were safe. Layouts were opening up all around me. I started cleaning again. This time, for sure. This time, for certain.
This time, it was cancer.
So after nine months of freaking out, I finally had myself surgicized and am now (evidently) cancer-free. Whew. As my life settled down, I was able to attend our club’s event at the Deland Train show. I brought some of my dusty engines and put hours and miles into them. Also started fixing some of the things a kitten had discovered on the layout and took great delight in playing with. The curse was broken! The curse was broken!
Well, not as much as my shoulder the following week (yeah, not broken, but I might need surgery – details HERE).
So yes, it appears there is an active curse about my layout. Every time I try to return to service, something terrible happens. So while i’m waiting to see if I’ll require surgery on this bum wing of mine, I’m thinking of continuing my effort to get my layout back online.
Don’t stand too close.