et’s be up front about this. I’m one of those media guys who is reporting on something I did not attend.
Two shows ago, I was recovering from surgery in the hospital. Last time (the fall show) we had a hurricane and got cancelled. And this time, I got Covid (likely from CovidRails the weekend before). And I wore a mask and everything.
Even through I’m not showing symptoms anymore, I’m still hot and still staying clear. But it wasn’t like I wasn’t involved.
Steve Raiford had set everything up. We had crews marked up and superintendents outlined. Even sidelined, I kinda kept tabs on things. Then I got a call from Jeff Chisholm (who was supposed to be hooking up the trailer) – the hitch was nowhere to be found.
Having looked all over the place and having called Bill Sterner (the last tow crew) to check around his place, Jeff drove back to the clubhouse to look around there. I got called because he didn’t have alarm access (I was able to drop the alarm remotely for him). Yet no hitch. We have no idea how we misplaced something that big and rusty.
After some discussion, we decided we would have to cancel. Steve called the show hosts, and I started calling my way down the volunteer list (it was getting late and I wanted to cut down the chance of someone missing an email and driving out). When I got to Eric Troup’s number (a new member) he asked why. When I told him we had no hitch, he swore his hitch would work fine. So I got him with Jeff and waited for a resolution. They drove out and, by a miracle, they could tow it! Now, keep in mind this was at 10pm on a Friday night, in the cold darkness. Once I got the go, Steve called the promoters and cancelled our cancellation, I recalled all the wave-offs and we were back in business.
And the show hadn’t started yet.
Going by my reports, Marty did a good job organizing the effort to put the layout together. We had full staff and the layout ran really well (one turnout got snagged under the layout and was disabled). I’m told the show was packed, the vendors doing landmark business, and we picked up possibly three new members (one of them our own Ben Ruby). Our estate book sales went better than we’d planned, with Greg Wells and John Christensen really doing an amazing job (between this and ProtoRails, they really boosted our coffers).
So, overall, a disaster of a weekend was averted, mostly by Jeff and Eric and JW, with strong assistance from the rest of the club. The promoter is happy, the crowds loved us, and we moved mountains (well, we moved sixteen modules – no mountains on our layout).
Good work, guys!
P.S. And, with a mask on, I’m even going to open up the club and help unload. Maximum effort! We even got the grave-diggers in this! The grave-diggers! (shout-out to JW).
P.S.S Further, this post was the original post I’d written for the show. Right after I saved the draft, the site crashed. I am posting this up for completeness.