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The President's Corner by Dave Snow, Spring 2018

I know that, in the past when you received your BTO, the first thing that you did was go to the back of the magazine to read ĎDaveís Cornerí!! Well, at least, I hope you did. Iím hoping that I had enough fans to make it worth it. I went back through my old BTOs to see when I started writing that column. The earliest that I was able to find was in September 1999. Thatís almost 19 years of articles. Iím surprised that I had that much material to write about! Now that Iím in this new position, Iíve been moved from the back of the magazine to the front. As you can see from the title, ĎDaveís Cornerí is now Ď The Presidentís Cornerí.

Going forward, my focus is now with the health and integrity of the club and its members. I would like to think of the club as a passenger train traveling down the line. This train departed from the station in Pennsylvania back in 1978, with only 10 passengers. Over the years, the train proceeded down the tracks, stopping to pick up passengers. Cars were constantly being added to the train, as more passengers came on board. The train, at its peak, had enough cars to hold more than 2600 passengers! That was around 1992. Since that time, with a number of circumstances coming into play, while continuing to pick up passengers, many passengers decided to get off . Today, the train continues on its journey carrying 364 passengers, continually stopping to pick up new passenger and/or dropping off others.

This year will mark a milestone for the BTOC train. Itís been 40 years since that train left the station. That train will be stopping in Bird-in-Hand, PA, on June 18th to commemorate that milestone. The engineer of that train, is hoping to drop off as many passengers as he can.
For our members, who attended the 2008 and 2009 conventions, that were held at Bird-in-Hand Family Inn, where this yearís convention will be held, know the fun we had. This yearís convention, in my estimation, will top both of those years combined. The major manufacturers, Hartland Locomotive Works, USA Trains and PIKO, have gone out of their way to provide us with merchandise for awards and raffles. Their continued support for our club has been extraordinary!

Several months ago I put out a challenge. The challenge was to get as many members as I could, to register for the convention. In just the state of Pennsylvania, we have 45 members. In the state of New York, we have 52 members. Thatís a total of 97 and, if you include spouses, that would be 194 attendees! Just in two states. Can you imagine what it would be like if all the members, in the other surrounding states registered? We would definitely have to set up more chairs!!! So, are you in?

One of the big challenges that we are undertaking is to set up enough track to completely surround the fish pond that is located in the back of the Inn. In my last Daveís Corner, I had photos of the fish pond and the walking path around it. It was measured at, approximately, 1185 feet. The challenge, placed on our members, was to bring enough track, to surround the pond. Several members contacted to say that they would bring, combined, about 200 feet. The club made a purchase, last year, of track that would come close to meeting the total feet. However, we would welcome any and all attendees to bring whatever they could, in the way of track. One of the limitations, if we are successful in setting this up, is that the engines must run on battery power. In closing, I want to extend an invitation to all of our attendees to hunt me down and introduce themselves. Being the membership chairman, for the past 12 years, Iíve known our members only by their names. On occasion, I would receive notes with their membership renewal, or through e-mail. I would like to put a face to a name. Even though I may look busy, stop me. I would like to meet you.

Always remember, that this is YOUR club. I and the other board members are just custodians of the club. We are here to work for you. Without you, there would be no club. Until the next BTO, keep ĎHaviní Fun, Runniní Trains!!!
There is a video that was made at Bird-in-Hand which shows the characteristics of the sidewalk around the pond. Click here to view the Youtube video

RAILROAD, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to wher we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favor by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition. - Ambrose Bierce


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