July 2007 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

††††††††††† This month I would like first to applaud and congratulate our members who volunteered to help at ďThe Little Engine That CouldĒ event held last month. They are the core and heart of our Museum. These are the people who made the commitment without knowing what the weather or visitor attendance would be, and came out and supported the DRM. They were here working very hard in many ways such as prepping for the event, setting up tents, running the food concession, selling tickets, and operating our trains. These are the people who made it at all possible. Once again itís our volunteers that make our Museum what it is today. Of course, it is our goal to make a profit on our events, but it is the spirit of our volunteers that truly gains my respect, and the publicís, also. Iíve been receiving many compliments on the positive attitudes and exceptional friendliness of our staff. Our volunteers go out of their way to make people feel at home in either the yard or building. This has been one of my goals all along: communication with our guests; emphasizing what we have to offer to the public, and looking at how we can share our experiences with our guests. Thank you again!

††††††††††† As a result of the Little Engine event, much work was accomplished in the railyard getting ready for it. We were able to assemble and upgrade our G gauge layout, turning it into another attraction for our guests, not only for that event but for the future. We have found, not surprisingly, that many of our guests were able to relate to the smaller trains before they boarded the full size ones.

††††††††††† I have always stated that we must have and support diversity at the Museum, and show the public the variety of interests and educational tools that we can present to them. There are many more possibilities. Displays and exhibits can be used to this end. They can be simple things requiring little or no financial expenditure, which can teach and educate a guest. An example is the brake wheel at the entrance to the yard. Simple enough, but look at how many people walk over to turn it. I am always open to ideas that you may have to expand upon our exhibits and the more interactive the better.

††††††††††† Our mechanical department has been very busy making our motive power ready to use for the Little Engine event. They have spent many hours working on the SW8 and backup 44 tonner for flawless operation in our yard. They also have improved access to the #1455 steam engineís cab and tender by building a new staircase, jacking up the front end of the tender, and installing a newly fabricated apron plate. We will be celebrating this unique pieceís 100th birthday and heritage on Saturday, August 11th as part of a special event at the Museum.

††††††††††† As you know, we have many restoration projects going on at the Museum. If you have any interest in doing this kind of work, please contact me, and I will get you in touch with the project leader.

††††††††††† Now that the Little Engine event has passed, work will commence again on Saturdays on the #34 Track restoration. What remains now is final tamping and compression of the roadbed.

††††††††††† As you can see there is a lot going on at the Museum. There is progress everywhere you look, but from what I have seen, there is also a spirit that is going along with the work. Become part of it!