It’s Tuesday and time to relax after a hectic 20 days of activity. It all started back in July when they put the walls up and filled in the compost. Things heated up on the Wednesday before the fair when club members descended with a vengeance. Troy, my daughter’s boyfriend, was kind enough to take me to East Aurora to pick up the compactor. His truck with the electric tailgate made it easy to get the compactor on and off the truck. Troy spent the day with us running the compactor. By the end of the day, the form of the layout was pretty much done, and track laying was ready to start. Even though we tell everyone that we have all mulch under the trains, this year, the yards had ¼ inch plywood on top of the mulch. Bob Rodgers spent a fair amount of Wednesday cutting and painting the plywood black. For the next several days, we were busy several hours a day putting things together and test running. I believe that we invested about 300-man hours in the week before the fair.
Opening day and the trains were running. Over the next 11 days, we averaged 4 people at the layout all the time. At times, there were 6 people from the club. Lots of socialization. And lots of time to meet with the public and talk about trains and our club.
In the years that Bonny and I have been doing the fair, I do not believe that we had ever had as many comments on the layout as this year. The over and under elevation track layout was a real attraction. We had up to three trains running on the outer loop. At one time, we had 5 egg liners running on the inner loop. And of course, we cannot forget the gourd train! You just never know what someone is going to run.
As we finished putting away the club material on Monday morning at the boxcar, Dave had a few words for those still there thanking them for their support over the last 18 days. Currently, we have a tentative go ahead for next year, to be confirmed as always later in the year. As president of this club, I want to thank Dave and Gary Tebo for the organization work that they do in getting this program up and running every year. And to thank Dave for pushing a layout with elevation to it. He had the trestles all ready to go on Wednesday set up. Only minor modification was required on a couple of them. Dave’s mind is already working on next year’s layout concept.
Finally, to close out the fair comments, I want to congratulate the other four club members who submitted a model for this year’s contest. Mike Flynn’s contribution to the club in keeping this program going is greatly appreciated. Lots of comments were made about how could you pick one over the other. Some people had a more direct comment – "I am from East Aurora and have to vote for the home town model!" We truly represented Industrial Buffalo area.
And now we party a bit with the club only open house at Hank’s. Sit back, relax, tell train stories and watch Hank’s trains run. A peaceful three hours.
However, the pace really does not lessen any. Gary Ludwig has visited the Central Terminal and made measurements of the room we are in. He has converted these measurements into a track plan for the Central Terminal exhibit the 8th and 9th of September. Mark your calendars as we will need members to man the trains for those two days. Gary will put a schedule together for getting material from the boxcar and transporting it to the Terminal along with a sign-up sheet to get an idea of who will be available for set up, tear down, and operation. For those attending the open house this Sunday, we will have a sign-up sheet there along with some additional data.