The buckwheat workers celebrate their oppression!
Doing good and amusing people is a political act, one that many conservatives seem unable to do. They must inflame, outrage, threaten, or otherwise incite baser instincts. This is my response to that. NVNtrak is my model railroad club. We try and amuse ourselves and sometimes amuse others.
NVNtrak Musingsby Cliff Enz
Ah, the delicate hand of Autumn paints our shrubs and trees with the reds, yellows and browns that define our journey through the year. Now if all the danged leaves would finally fall, we could get those Metro Whitcomb switcher photos we want, without having to stop on the Beltway.
Were was I? Okay, things have picked up with the coming of colder weather, and NVNtrakkers have been busy rehabilitating modules, preparing for a rigorous schedule of Fall and Winter shows. One of our number, Dave Freshwater, a West Point graduate, fresh from his recognition as a Operation Lifesaver volunteer of the year, has completed his certification as a OLI instructor, instructor. Did I say that right? Anyway, Dave can now teach you to teach people that standing on train tracks is a bad idea. How bad? Well, he has an approved visual aid, to show you!
September saw setups at the Preston County West Virginia Buckwheat Festival, with Edd Braithwood coordinating, and Dale Rinker and Robert Parsells running a distributed power lashup pulling a 143 car freight for 3+ hours. Much buckwheat was eaten and drunk over the course of the 4 day festival, as the buckwheat workers danced the traditional buckwheat harvest dances to the dulcet tones of the 'Pride of West Virginia' band.
Later that month, NVNtrak took our modules to the IAFF International Burn Camp, in Arlington VA, for children who have suffered burns. Heart wrenching is the description I always hear, and virtually nobody complained about the inevitable derailments, caused by little hands running trains at, well, breakneck speed. Given our large fire department membership component, participation in this event is a given, but we still give our thanks to the Arlington Fire Department for allowing us to be of service to those kids.
In October NVNtrak kicked off the month with an appearance at the 'Taste of Bethesda' in the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad Safety Day. BCC Rescue gets the kids and families in, hot dogs them, popcorns them and shows them the new equipment, teaches a little about safety, and generally this is one of the best shows of the year. It's fun, generally mild weather has the bays open, well attended, and despite a little 'Kidzilla' action, great running. Come on over next year, there's a great selection of food available downtown, if eating 51 free hot dogs for lunch at the Rescue Squad isn't your idea of 'Good Eats'.
Well, somewhere in here we did ANOTHER Firehouse appearance at the Franconia Fire station Open house. The Franconia fire station is where we hold our monthly backshop and module checkout on the first Sunday of the month. Every alternate month we have a full TTrak setup in addition to the backshop. The TTrak setup is on either the even or the odd months, except when it isn't. Drop on by, we'll be glad to talk to you, as opposed to actually doing any work.
We closed out the month at the fabulous Cow Palace in Timonium MD, setting up for the "Great Scale Train Show". November had NVNtrak setting up and supporting Damascus Rail Days at the library. We celebrated the retirement of the librarian, and hopefully made friends with the new staff for the coming year.
NVNTrak has begun planning for our 20th anniversary celebration, and hopes in the near future to host a national NTrak Convention. Come visit with us, in person, and after the first of the year, on our new website: www.nvntrak.org