May 2014 President’s Report
It’s May and looks like we have finally received a reprieve from the extended winter doldrums. So, what did you do last winter? Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, track work, built tunnels, or plant trees? Obviously, we are alluding to the great hobby of model railroading! Although many DRM members and visitors are not model railroaders, many of us are. As children, we may have initiated the love of trains by watching our first circular route of tinplate under a tree, or on the venerable sheet of plywood, and imagined the world’s greatest trains at the control of our small, but powerful hands. Gaining in years, wisdom, creative talent and constructive dexterity, many would-be trainmen satisfied their urge to travel the path of would-be hobos to the unglamorous title of “modelers”. Fast-forward a few more years and the wandering vagabonds, now educated professionals, wage earners and busy family builders with all the developed latent skills penned up again, looked for a new or restored creative outlet to drive a golden spike to their newly connected transcontinental monopoly. However big or small our empire, we continued the dream, nostalgia and excitement of trains and the many technical talents learned and developed through the years of our growth.
Model railroaders seem to develop an expertise and ability to apply their many hobby-related talents and skills to the problems/issues confronting us out in the real and volunteer world. The self-taught carpenter, electrician, plumber, engineer, banker, or entrepreneur steps forward to share his/her expertise and thinking philosophies resulting in fixes to many of the everyday problems brought forth. The at-home carpenter that built benchwork fashions roof spars to restore a 100-year-old caboose. A wiring guru that designs electrical circuits repairs non-operational electronic equipment. Our own racecar mechanic that constructs a radiator for a diesel locomotive that can’t be purchased from a non-existent “diesel radiator store”. The prior examples demonstrate the model railroader’s attitudes and service shared at the Danbury Railway Museum.
A few of our members believe modelers serve no purpose at the DRM. Many of the accomplishments (too many to single out), have demonstrated the reserve, perseverance, and success of our own modeling population. Sit in a business meeting of ten people and you can bet that more than one has some train and/or modeling hobby background. Try it!
Many of the active Danbury Railway Museum members and volunteers have been long-term model train collectors that have graduated to extend and share their modeling proficiencies. This in turn has created highly-developed “rail-fans” and individuals with a certain level of expertise. Be careful, those young/old people out there playing with toy trains may become your next engineer or conductor!
On behalf of the Danbury Railway Museum, Wade W. Roese