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Important News for our Members

Highlights of our October Meeting

By Ken Granzin

Penn Bullock talked about what our club is doing in the barn with the Eliada kids. He gave some background on how we got into the barn and what we have been doing during our "trains" sessions with the kids. He explained that this work is how we "pay the rent" that allows us to keep our modules and other equipment and supplies in the barn, as well as use the cafeteria for our monthly meetings. He told those present that we have too small a staff and we need more of our members to step up and become involved with this activity. He outlined what must be done to qualify with the Eliada management to work with the kids.

Wally Brown talked about what is being done with the collection of modules in the barn. He mainly talked about the work with the new industrial district that runs down the middle of the layout. These modules will not be carried to showings, but will be held in the barn to be used during operating sessions.

Ben Bartlett received the NMRA Award for Chief Dispatcher from John Williams. Ben reported on his plan and actual activities in which he participated to earn the award. He also described the judging process he underwent to win the award. Members can go to the NMRA website and look under Achievement Program for information on what is necessary to win awards such as this one. John Williams also encouraged members to qualify for this and other NMRA awards.

Our next meeting is Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 7:00 pm.

The program this month will be on rail operations by Terry Harrison

Operating Sessions on the LOST RR

With cooler days we can resume our normal schedule for operating sessions meaning we will start at 2:00 p.m. Operating sessions are Sunday, October 26. In November: Saturday, the 8th and Sunday the 23rd.

Getting to know you

Editor’s Note: From time to time, we will feature a biographical sketch of one of four members. This month we talk about Ken Granzin, our newly-elected clerk. Ken is a frequent contributor to these pages. He usually sits in the back, and is quiet, but as you will note here, he is an interesting and talented guy.

Ken Granzin was born in Chicago. As a child during WWII he made model airplanes. His involvement with model trains began as a teenager in Rock Island, IL. His mother granted him a spare second-floor room in their rented home for the project. So he built table work and on it constructed a three-rail O-gauge tinplate operation, using whatever Lionel and Marx equipment he could scrounge from various sources. Dissatisfied with its appearance, and influenced by current guru Frank Ellison, he then worked at converting the track to the outside third-rail format. Before he could complete the project, he graduated from high school and moved forward to secondary education and the Navy in Maryland. He found no time for modeling at that stage in his life. Subsequently, his mother decided to leave that house; she found buyers for the railroad who cut the layout into sections and lowered them through the upstairs window.

Ken tried modeling again in about 1966, working in a rented apartment in Urbana, IL. Having learned his lesson about permanency, he used very little space in building a portable 2 ˝’ by 4’ HO layout that pivoted to fit vertically against the wall, taking little floor space. This compact layout had an over-and-under design with a minimum 13”radius. Nonetheless, using short rolling stock, it worked.

After a move to Salt Lake City, UT, and a lot of “spare” time devoted to other pursuits, for years Ken regrettably did little railroading but build model buildings and a train board for his son. In 1998, when anticipating retirement, Ken decided “it’s now or never,” invested a chunk of money in materials and equipment to motivate his commitment, and built the HO layout he had planned for many years. He used three tables, each 7’ by a bit over 3’, joined on the long sides. Track laying, wiring, and scenery construction were made with a long-distance move in mind.

In 2000, Ken and Sharon moved the 2050 miles to Hendersonville. The layout was caged with wood strips for protection and made the trip in excellent condition. Here, Ken finished 600 sq. ft. of basement to provide, among others, a room for his layout. His layout now comprises the three tables from the late 1990s and the original HO layout from the 1960s (brass track and all). Work has progressed well over the past four years, but the scenery part of the layout isn’t completed yet. Will it ever be? Probably not. But Ken gets plenty of modeling done working with club projects. He worked on the club’s HO modules from their inception, and can currently be seen working on two N-scale layouts in the barn. He also very much enjoys working almost every Tuesday night with the Eliada kids on their T-Trak modules. For Ken, the process of modeling itself, rather than its achievement, is an important part of what our hobby is all about.