t was, without a doubt, the best of times and the worst of times.
In sheer bad luck, the truck pulling our trailer had a flat battery and got to the fairgrounds late. Road construction shook the living poo out of our modules, causing all sorts of breakage. And when the layout went live, it shorted across the panel, red lights everywhere. Oh, and my techno aces were mostly at a convention or out in the ocean somewhere.
Okay, the panel was an easy fix – someone had bumped the digitrax box off the run mode. And the damage – most of that (other than one or two missing pieces) was fixed by the location of my late-father’s tube of glue (last used a decade before but still perfect). Everything was rebuilt, the line was opened, and we were track-shiny and running by doors-open.
Good show, too. Maybe people stood around and complemented us on our scenery (many of them spotting recognizable landmarks). The kids ran well. The crowd damage was minimal. Tips were up and we sold a boatload at the table, making us solvent for the year.
Even better, we ran a brief 15 minute operations session at the end of the show, just trying some ideas out. While they didn’t work perfectly (i.e. cornfields!), it did give us an idea how we might do this in future. We’ve got to rethink ops in a show sense, and instead of shutting everything down, we need to work short switching moves into the running. Okay, so that’s a go-forward idea to mull.
And if it was one of our worst set-ups, it was one of our cleanest takedowns. We had a sharp crew of six or so striking the modules, racking them up, one after another. We breezed out of there, probably the last to start packing and the first to roll away.
Anyway, thanks for the maximum effort, guys. We made a mint and got to run trains! And what’s better than that?