Saturday, July 15, 2017

You Can Never Have Too Much Thomas

Ask, for example, Harold Krewer, who is there every day, all day, directing the event, making the announcements, dealing with crises, listening to the "music"...  sorry, feel free to ignore any esthetic judgments I might let slip.  Without him and many others, it wouldn't be possible.  It's a great event for children of all ages, and today the weather was perfect, and people all seemed to be having a great time.

Percy will need some help, so the 1630 is warming up.

I was the conductor on the 4391 again today, so I didn't get a chance to take many pictures.

But it's very rewarding to get a chance to talk to people during the day.  For instance, I talked to a couple with three kids who drove up from Egypt and stayed overnight in order to spend a day with Thomas.  They certainly seemed to think it was worthwhile.  Another couple I talked to had been to a similar event last year elsewhere, and thought ours was much better organized.  To an ex-Army officer, it appears to be absolute chaos, but what do I know???  I talked to a man from Toronto who remembered riding the PCCs there, and we discussed the differences from one to another.  And as I say, everybody seemed to be having a good time.

During my break, I had an opportunity to visit my old friend Phil Hehn, whom I've known since the seventies, who was the engineer on the Thomas train today.   Here's the control stand on C&NW 411.

 And the crew: Phil on the left, fireman J.D. on the right.

And the engine has a nice memorial sign on it remembering the late Roger Smessaert.  Sorry, the spotting pole was in the way.

As just one example of Thomas dedication, our friend Buzz Morrisette spent all day holding a rope to keep people from crossing the track in front of the streetcars.  He could easily be doing something more interesting, but luckily there are many similar stories all across the property.

And even so, some projects continue working.  Here Ed Woytula is welding parts for the Cleveland PCC.  And at the end of the day, instead of putting the 4391 away, we ran it over to the shop for Joel and the crew to do necessary maintenance.  The Museum almost never sleeps. 

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