2006 convention

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Jul 3 00:20:17 EDT 2005

Sorry I missed everyone in Williamson, but work was a bit goofy this year for both me and the Mrs. and it just wasn't possible. I'm sure Gary Rolih and Co. worked hard to ensure a good time for all.
I commend the board for thinking outside the box, so to speak, and heading offline to Strasburg. I'd love to see the 475 in action. It'd give me a feel for what the Abingdon Branch must have been like pre-1958.

As for Thomas, yeah, he's a kid icon who's done more to introduce youngsters to trains as a fun thing than about anything else I can think of. My son and daughter both grew up watching him, and a Thomas alarm clock is by her bed. Many's the night I read the Rev. W.W. Awdry's stories to both of them. Heck, thanks to Thomas, a co-worker's toddler was even convinced he was a train until shortly before puberty...

Interestingly, as a testament to the power of marketing, my daughter, at age 4, decreed we were going to set off to see Thomas. How she knew he actually existed, I don't know. It did lead me to Trains magazine to ascertain the blue engine's schedule. That led to a trip to the Illinois Railway Museum for Thomas Days. The museum had about 25 times more visitors than usual that weekend, by my recollection. Few even noticed the F-unit on the back of Thomas's train. Suffice to say, both kids thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the rest of the museum. Where else can you catch a Shay in operation alongside a North Shore interurban car.
Ol' Thomas is probably buying a few more years, at least, for our hobby in the era of video games and rail yards that are far, far away from today's subdivision-living youth.
My $.02
Andre Jackson and/or Lisa Burrows
Life is short; update your anti-virus software
Who spent summers bicycling over to the TRRA tracks as a misguided youth...

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