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Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad
Belfast, Maine

Let’s start with I have never been to Maine! So, I don’t have a story about Maine or this tourist railroad to tell. But the story is a train story!

I got this mug as a door prize at the train side shows in Durand, Michigan. I met Bill, the organizer of the Durand shows, 5 a year, for 20 years, the first fall show in 2005. The shows in Durand have always been two main presenters showing their slides or in recent years digital presentations. Each featured presenter shows at the beginning of the half before or after dinner, and everyone is welcome to bring a mini program to share. Like any gathering where Railfans show off the fruits of their hobby, there are varying degrees of prowess and many trains from different places!

David has been the featured presenter a couple of times since we’ve been together and he usually make a point of bringing a mini show I have the distinction and honor of having been the first woman to ever show a presentation at Durand! The first show in 2006 I brought the Railfan Intern, which coincidently was the first show by a woman presented at BORT Rail in 2005 as well. Since then, I’ve brought my annual show to present at the first meeting every year.

I got to see the evening as a “just slides” show and saw it bridge the technological gap as so many fans had done and move into having the setup for digital shows on a regular basis. As new fans come into the hobby, they start shooting digital. I’ve met people who I see from time to time when we’re railfanning in Michigan to, many of them I bet we’ll see for the steam weekend next month!

I used to be nervous about sharing my photos with other railfans. I mean, I wanted to do this in my early 20s but couldn’t find someone to teach me the ropes and take me out to find the trains, so I was almost 30 years old when I finally started! But my background in video and having videotaped a few trains to use in local shows when I worked in local TV production in Plymouth, Michigan, gave me a bit of assistance to learn quickly. Now I am eager to show my stuff!

Bill did such a great job from booking the hall, to making sure everyone on the mailing list got their announcements and making sure there was all the equipment arranged for so anyone could share their photos. Now, after 20 years of organizing, Bill has retired as the yard master for the Durand shows. He’s been hoping someone would want to take over as the administrator, but as of the last show, in March of this year there hadn’t been any takers. I hope someone decides to take on the responsibilities for continuing the show, but if they don’t it’s because we all realize that Bill’s shoes are just too big to fill!

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