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Author Topic: My first narrow gauge convention  (Read 2081 times)

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« on: September 06, 2007, 07:57:00 PM »

Hi guys,
Last week was our first Narrow Gauge Convention, in Portland, and we found it great !  It’s really fun to finally put a face and shake hands with so many names only read on the Internet.  Don (Howard) had the patience to cope with us for a good part of the convention.  Wink   I got to meet Richard Schmitt and Jack Thompson, and admire the Sundance layout (wow ! The pics don’t give back the real beauty and awesomness of it !)  Just imagine … small building, shops, sheds, scenery, and even cows in a field, grass, fences and … cow dung … yeap !  Laughing our heart out …   :DTheir First Prize was greatly deserved. 
We went out to visit some interesting layouts outside Portland.   We also paid a visit to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, in the Portland harbour, where they ran their Forney #4 steamer.  We visited the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum.  We took the train ride, seated in the open car, right in front of engine #10 (nice little steamer).  Guess … we ended up covered with a mixture of wet cinders … three little sooty pigs … :oThat owed me a cab ride, plus me actually operating (few hundred feet backward and forward) on the steamer !  YESSS !!   Grin Tongue A first ‘’driving’’ experience, hopefully not the last !
We arrived at the convention Wednesday afternoon.  At 6 :00pm sharp, I was at the door of the vendors hall, ready to rockn’roll !  I slowly worked my way towards the Bachmann booth in the far back of the room.  I got to meet and chat with ‘’The Bach-Man‘’ himself …  very nice guy …   I got to put my nose right on the new tank cars and gondolas.  They’re very finely detailed, painted and lettered.  Compared to the Narrow Gauge Pictorial, only minute details could be added to the tank cars (like the ID panels under the walkway on the sides and ends).  As soon as they’re made available, I want some !  And then, at about 6 :35pm, as I stood in front of an empty Bachmann table, I saw Lee Riley coming to the table holding that big beast of a K…..  My jaw dropped,  just beeing able to babble ;‘’Is it THE ONE ?  Lee replied ‘’Oh yes !’’  I just had to bow low in front of that magnifiscent sight, being the first to assist to the unveiling, to the amusement of Lee…..  Shocked Grin Grin Wow, what a superb surprise !......
We met Lee again after the closing word from Charlie Getz (That guy is a real number) and we chatted a bit with him.    He said that he is much tired of the ‘’Lee Riley hates Colorado’’ thing.  He had a little story.  He told us of a trip he made to Colorado NG railroads in 1969.  He had to drive an old car, with no reverse on it.  It was in May, and, if you know about Colorado weather, he ended up right in the middle of a snowstorm … but drove all the way, no matter…… Not bad for a guy who’s supposed to despise the subject.   He also told us of his involvement in the rebuilding of the Cass Climax.   With a cooler head,  after a couple days , I can still say that I saw in Lee Riley a very spirited and passionate fellow…   It is easy to criticize , but with Finescale Railroader and My Large , he’s one of the major influences who brought me to 1.20.3…. Sooo…
I also spoke to Fred Devine and Ada Ho, fine people from Accucraft.   We talked about what the near future holds for us, meaning passenger cars and MOW cars.    The J & S passenger car is a beauty.  Fred let me hold it and it is big and heavy (these die cast trucks weight a lot)   The interior has nice seats, looking credible to my eye.
I could go on and write about the dozens of good people we’ve met, along with all the interesting stuff, but that would take … forever to write !  To make it short, we had a great time, and could have enjoyed  it much longer than it lasted !   Smiley Cool
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