“I need three guys,” the FEC superintendent emailed. “Extra operators for this Saturday.” Christmas is just around the corner, all manner of obligations, and the sessions sometimes suffer.
With access to our club base, I got four at short notice.
It’s interesting to take club operators to a stand-alone layout. Club ops are usually informal and easy-going. Home ops tend to be a little more by-the-book. The FEC is fun, but its also a fully-signaled main line effort, lots of industry, lots of switching, lots of following orders tight and right. So the worry, when I bring my pals over, is that someone might screw up (or, worse, dick around). And the superintendent’s eyes will swing from them to me.
Before the session, they followed the superintendent around like ducklings, listening, asking intelligent questions. In deference to the years they’ve been in the hobby, nobody put a quarter on the tracks.
Once the clock started, I didn’t have time to worry about how they were doing – I was sawing cars in bite-sized cuts into the tight fold-back siding at Palm Bay, a Tower-of-Hanoi gambit. Getting that last boxcar spotted to Gulf Oil took all my focus – I hardly noticed the newbies drifting past on the main.
I didn’t hear any of that Spacely Space Sprockets “Yoooouurrrr FIRRRREEEDDDD!”
I guess I get to come back next time.
Maybe with friends.