Newsletter – March 2023

From the president’s desk

Well what a super Winter Meet we just had. Surely it was the best meet in recent times…times of Covid, a real energy crisis, an unstable inflationary economy and a dip in my own health. Happily, the latter is, at least, coming along better. Thanks to all for helping! Everyone join me in a big welcome to our four new Directors: Lloyd Coon and Gee, Lowell and Linda Dietz, Larry Goldsby and Steve Zuiderveen. These new Directors will help build on the capability and accomplishments of the Board. A good measure of where we are right now is the status of our treasury: a plus balance for the year, and all past bills paid off. Also join me in welcoming new Floridians Lowell and Linda Dietz, who have closed on a property in Micanopy. A big welcome as well to new members John Hoffman, Phillip and Dana Nillson, Wes and Lyn Rogers and Norm and Susan Wizner.  In all candor, I must report that even after plenty of work on the track, the main line was not up to my normal standard. Revamping the mainline, regrading and leveling, replacing ties and ballasting left some operational challenges as you all know. I put this mainly on myself. Although I will need lots of help, I commit to making sure next meet will see needed improvement.

Latest Happenings

 Captain Boots has revived his train repair and resale business to a noticeably higher level. Members who are involved in different gauges might want to know of this, if not already so informed. The near unanimous feedback from the Winter Meet was very positive, with many February Florida travelers stopping back to say hi on their return leg. That always leads to some nice stories and memories. The G gauge track will likely see action from local members, maybe even some additional main line. The awning and tree cover up there make a nice difference as seasonal temperatures warm up.

Track Repair, Maintenance and Improvement

One of the benefits of the Winter Meet was to identify priorities. All those dips, crooks, out-of gauge track, sensitivity in the leading truck etc. etc. became pretty evident to most of you, and as we all know, it’s a never-ending battle. At this point, I would draw your attention to the photo of the large pile of arsenic-treated ties. And I would most certainly extend a warm Thank You to Pam and Lutz Braun. It took a lot to get that here from Tennessee, as some of you may know. And the gift is so much appreciated.

Upcoming Activity

With the February Live Steam cycle coming to a close, a collective pat on the back seems in order. The result of all that hard work is the creation of fond memories, furtherance of friendships, a commitment to continue to improve the track and the club, but also keeping alive the appreciation and understanding of railroad design, operation and history. Weekends should see continued attention to repair and maintenance priorities, and maybe a little running, both full scale a G Gauge. There will likely be a Zoom meeting of the Board to address those items from the minutes that are time-sensitive, such as the roof repair estimates. Here are some photos of the Meet, along with my own Thank You to Mark Reese and Captain Boots for some shots from their eyes, informative and appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,
John Carter
Temporary Corresponding Secretary