Sunday, May 20, 2012

Battles Everywhere

This weekend was our WWII reenactment at IRM. We remember with gratitude all those who fought for our freedom in the war, and the reenactors do their best to recreate this dramatic history. Everybody I talked to had a great time and appreciated the experience. It was quite gratifying to get compliments from many of the visitors who enjoyed their time there today.

Jim Nauer
and I were running the CA&E steel cars 409 and 431. Here I am with an Army Air Corps officer who rode with us.

And here, for instance, we have a Canadian soldier saying farewell to his sweetheart. There were many other touching scenes like this, but I was too busy to photograph them.

Allied soldiers are riding the 431 on their way to the battle (OK, there's a little poetic license here) and discussing their plans.

And here some German soldiers are talking to a nurse.

Jim and I just had to battle the weather, which probably reduced the attendance somewhat. In the morning it was hot and muggy, and in the afternoon it was dark and threatening. On the final trip, there was a strong wind storm, and as I was approaching Seeman Road, my vision was obscured by a huge dust cloud. That was a little scary! As we returned, it started to rain. Fortunately, the steel cars are pretty watertight, but we were glad to finally put them away.

Meanwhile during the day, several of my Car Dept. friends were battling some leaks on the 319 for me, including Rod, Greg, Joe, Joel, and Dan Mulvihill. It took several tries, but they got it put back together and we now think the car is ready for revenue service. I can't thank them enough for all the help!

In other news, installation of the equipment on the Bellock Playground has started, as seen here. In the distance, you can see some more of the parts which will be assembled soon.

And of course several other projects were in full swing, in spite of the violence and chaos all around. Here Ray and Jeff pretend to be making progress on the 28. I guess some people have what it takes to be skillful reenactors, others of us just don't.


Anonymous said...

In the spirit of the war theme, maybe IRM could sell "IRM War Bonds" to visitors during this event (basically, it would be just a fancy certificate in exchange for a donation). The war on rust and decay is very real and must be funded!

RE: Car 28. What is the name of that bendable sheet material they are attaching?

Thank you for the blog report.

Anonymous said...

The sheets on the roof are fairly heavy masonite panels which have been soaked in water for a week to soften them up, and then placed into a specially constructed bending caul for them to dry and take a set. All of those have been installed over the past year or two and now seams are being filled and sanded so that ultimately, the canvas roof material may be installed.

The masonite is being used since the original material (panasote??) is no longer available.

It is a different story on the ends where custom milled thin basswood slats are being dry bent and fitted one slat at a time. That is exactly appropriate and correct for original construction.

Bob Kutella

David Wilkins said...

Not to be pedantic here, but I believe the officer next to Randy is in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The gentleman in the red beret saying goodbye appears to be a Canadian.

David Wilkins said...

Oh and it appears that one of the soldiers riding i the 431 is carrying a Browning .30 caliber machine gun. Not exactly a light load to carry.

Randall Hicks said...

I'm sure David is right -- I've made the corrections.

Ray Bellock said...

This "officer" was not one of the re-enactors. Based on what he told me, he travels to these events looking for WWII vets. WHen he finds one, he gives him a T-shirt or hat decorated with the words "The Greatest Generation" , shakes the veteran's hand and says thank you. He came up to me thinking I was old enough. I'm not! (born 4 months before Pearl Harbr) He also visits nursing homes on the same quest. I saw him after the battle re-enactment by the steam leads, acting almost elated because he had found a veteran to give a shirt to. That's what he was carrying in that plastic bag he was carrying. This is a truly selfless act

Anonymous said...

Believe the roofing material would have been Agasote. Pantasote was used for window shades, also known as curtains. Bill Wulfert

Anonymous said...

Agasote, panasote, what is in a word? I did indicate I questioned the right word, and neither are available today.

Bob Kutella

Anonymous said...

My father was a non-commissioned officer and a radio man in the Army Air Corps during WWII. That uniform looks very similar to the ones my father wore.

I am glad to hear that the spring cleaning and inspections of the C,A & E cars are going well.

Ted Miles
IRM Member