October 2012 President’s Report
Sadly I must report that our long-time friend and fellow member Edward Blackman passed away yesterday, Friday, September 14, 2012 at six in the morning after a short illness. We thought Ed would bounce back and be relating his stories and sharing advice as he had many times before, and with his many visitors and friends during what we assumed was to be his recovery. He was surrounded by his family when he passed.
Born in Norwalk and raised in Redding, Ed opened a hobby shop on Route 7 over the former Ancona’s Market. New to Connecticut and living in Redding, I often gravitated to Ed’s shop to experience modeling, get an education about the hobby, and of course get an education about the “real” New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad for which Ed worked. Later with Penn Central, and Metro-North, he continued his active hobbies of photography and railfanning. He had a thirty-eight year career of service with the railroads.
As a life and charter member, member #2, Ed was instrumental in the formation of the Danbury Railway Museum in 1994. Along with his wife Suze and two sons, Chris and Tommy, they shared their talents and passion for railroading and the enhancement of our Museum. A generous family, they made numerous donations and contributions. As a result, the Blackmans grew the Museum collection and resources. Ed’s proclivity for detail was always apparent; he could tell you where a locomotive was born, saw service, its specification, how many, and where it was currently housed. As President from 1999 to 2001, his dedication and commitment was evident in all the time and efforts he put forth. As a member of the Board of Directors his concern was always for the benefit and betterment of the DRM. Always an ambassador for the Museum, his railfanning trips were reciprocal as he told as many stories as those he brought back to share with our membership. His modeling expertise followed the same level of detail; “They never did that there or like that!” Ed’s Wednesday night programs were seldom boring, always full of great photography and never absent of humor. Of course, much of the humor was at Ed’s expense.
Personally, Ed was my friend. If I had a particular interest or was working on a specific modeling project, Ed’s photographs would be shared generously and he was a tremendous research asset. He was very willing in helping new members especially if you were a train fan or a modeler. Regularly a worker at the Big “E” railroad event in Springfield, Massachusetts at the end of January, Ed would travel through the buildings searching for new stuff, sell some stuff he no longer needed/wanted, work the booth, entertain us at dinner, and share any of his sale profits with the Museum.
Regrettably, I/we must say goodbye to our friend, devoted life member, fellow modeler and long-time railroader. Hopefully, Ed, you will look down on us and see us flourish. Goodbye, Ed.
On behalf of your DRM friends,