his show had all the earmarks of a disaster.
First off the club president was out of town and the tech officer was on an effing boat. I had a few old sweats and a buncha newbies.
Day of load, we discovered that the trailer registration was out of date (I fixed that with a couple of quick calls).
Day of show, I stopped over at Krispy Kreem to pick up donuts for the crew. Their donut machine was broken and all they had were three dozen donuts that nobody wanted (think about that for a minute – these were donuts that Krispy Kreem fans turned their noses up at). So I bought two dozen slightly stale cream filled donuts (half of them vomit yellow). So we were already in trouble.
And then I drove through heavy bands of rain as I got closer to Deland. When I got there and walked to the front door, it came down in buckets.
Inside, I discovered that our nemesis club (First Coast) had again crowded into our space. We could make it work – barely.
But things turned around. I raised the back door and found the truck and crew in position. The rain let up after we tarped two racks in. Everyone took their time building the layout by-the-book (we broke a bit of plexiglass but it was an honest bungle, not rush-damage). And even with that, we were set up and professional in an hour. Everyone worked and we were up and running when the people came in.
I was happy to see that a lot of our newer members came out for it. My insight for this was that it made me realize how many old member’s trains I know (and missed seeing). One of our members – Duane – had recently passed away but his son was running one of his familiar engines). But I know the wreck train, the army train, the coal train, the grain train.
In their place, our younger members showed their millennial roots by running whatever they damn well liked. We had a Japanese bullet train, a couple of weird European steam trains, a Swiss glacier train, and some really nice pennsy steam power. It seems like you never knew what you were going to see when you rounded the next corner.
So the young guys really kept the show together. They ran a lot of scale miles down, they followed instructions for build and tear down, and everything was smooth as silk. In fact, we had so many trains out Saturday that my Espee engines pushed their bloody noses out for maybe two fifteen minute runs – we had a very busy mainline.
We brought it home with only one turnout (non-critical) that kicked out its drawbar. Also, we need to inspect the crossover at the hospital area – that was a little touchy for some folks.
The warmest complement I got was when we were rolling our racks to the truck. One of the venders smiled over and said, “Now that’s the way to do a traveling layout.”
I should have given him our leftover donuts.