To promote the joy of HO scale model railroading in southwestern Idaho

Friday, February 24, 2006

Vol 2 Issue 2 February 2006 Newsletter

Vol. 2 Issue 2                                      PO Box 545  Kuna ID 83634                              February 2006              


We have had a couple of banner months for new members. January brought us Norm and Shirley Rees, Matt Farnsworth, Ed Meeham, and Linda Robinson.  So far the first couple of days of February has brought us Dan Ward, Sam Kropp, Bob Smylie and Hayden Lewis. With growth like this we will soon exceed most other club memberships in the area. We GREATLY appreciate each of you and all you are doing to make Ida-HO Model Railroaders the standard by which all other local clubs will be judged! WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!!


Yes, we will venture out of state for the FIRST TIME in October to display at the Great Atlantic and Western Train Show in Ogden Utah. The dates are October 22 and 23. We will be busy AFTER the March show getting room rates and such. This will be a golden opportunity to spread our success out of our area. I know not all of you will be able to go, but we will need a fair size group to set-up and run for the 2 days. We should arrive mid day Friday the 21st for set up and be running by that evening. We will keep you posted on travel arrangements. So far I have commitments from Bill Sandrus, Norm and Shirley Rees and Mike Quinn. This will be a lot of fun!

EDITORIAL: Politics can ruin a good thing.

Over the past 2 or 3 weeks I have had the misfortune of reading and responding back and forth via e-mail with a branch of a national organization that represents our hobby. It has REALLY confirmed the suspicions that I always had about how these member supported national organizations operate. It started when I attended a local group meeting and they were supposed to be planning and discussing a local event. It was very apparent from their first words that they had little to no desire to actually work at making the event successful. In fact, there was more grumbling about all that must be done than there was about how to organize the event. I proceeded to write their local leader a letter stating that their group had no interest or desire and that, my friends, fueled a 2 week long mud slinging contest like I have never been a part of. The constructive criticism that I passed along was immediately reduced to an all out “blame-a-thon” between their leader, their group, and myself. It got so ugly that some began using foul language and even pulled out from the group. As I sat here reading and re-reading and even responding to a select few of the e-mails that were shooting back and forth like enemy bullets, I thought of how our group is so much different. And yet we share the same interest! It was a dramatic wake up call to me just how fortunate we are with each other’s friendship and just how much energy, enthusiasm and loyalty we have amongst our group. My friends, when Bill, Larry and I started this club a year ago there was ONE and only ONE requirement: that was that no matter how successful we got or how many members we gained, we would NEVER have the politics that run so rampant in most other clubs. After a year we have held true to this and will for the clubs life! We have witnessed first hand what can happen when appointed officers take leadership and turn it into a circus act. In one of my final e-mail replies to this other group, I stated that my role as the club coordinator only made me different from all of my other members because I keep track of our membership records and write most of the newsletter…that’s it! I said, “I am a member of my own club and work along side of my other friends equally”.
This whole experience has weakened and possibly ever severed any tie we would EVER have with the other group, which is sad because we do share the same hobby. It just proved that we haven’t forgotten how to have fun and, with the quality and caliber of each of you, I am positive that we’ll never forget! I am grateful to each of you for the friendship and dedication you have shown. As I have said many times before, we truly have a “Dream Team”.


Bill Sandrus has been hard at work searching out every vacant storefront and such that we run across. I have personally given him a half dozen names and phone numbers so far. We will keep you up to date as things develop. PLEASE, if you see something that looks like a good train location, call or e-mail me and I’ll get it to Bill. As you have seen, we are really crowded in my garage! Thanks friends!

With weekly meetings now and a fantastic turn out at every one we are progressing very rapidly toward the March 25th and 26th Great Atlantic and Western Train Show here in Boise. In just the past 4 or 5 weeks we have spruced up scenery, built 2 corner modules, rewired part of the layout, constructed a log pond, developed an area for a drive in theatre, created a small roadside village, repainted sky boards, built a lift-up bridge, built several buildings and mini-scenes and continue to plan for the future. We still have some rather large projects to complete but we will make it! We need to replace all the fascias, finish the re-wiring project, complete the 2 corner modules scenery including a forest/logging area and the row crop/farming area and biggest of all, put the layout together at least a couple of times to see how it runs, and how well it will set up. I am REALLY excited as March draws near! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!


It’s hard to believe that it was one year ago this month that I half seriously said something to Bill and Larry about starting a club. Then I got to thinking about it and talked with them and thought, “why not”. With a great deal of encouragement from my lovely wife, Heidi, Ida-HO Model Railroaders was born. Now one year later we are topping 30 members, still collect no dues, have 2 modular layouts to keep us busy, are just about to display in our 2nd public show, have committed to our first out-of-state show in October and STILL HAVE A LOT OF FUN!! Thank you friends/members for a fantastic first year. We hope to have many more to come!!


Duncan Campbell of Campbell Scale Models is offering IMR Members a 20% discount on all Campbell Scale Model products if we order direct from him. Member Norm Rees had a very nice conversation with Duncan who, by the way is the new owner, but NO relation to the original Campbell’s. Duncan is getting back into full production after some time due to a death in the family. He has a healthy back order log but said he will be working hard on productions of several of their craftsman structure kits. If you have never built one of their kits, they are truly a work of art when completed. Most are 100% wood with some cardstock sub-basses and a lot of cast details. Write to Campbell Scale Models at PO Box 3547 Central Point, OR 97502 or call Duncan at 541-664-9296. Make sure to mention you are an Ida-HO Model Railroaders member!


One thing I have greatly missed in my 10 years here in the valley is a good old-fashioned swap meet! When I lived in the southern California area we had many swap meets every weekend. We even had a train swap meet once a year at the local Goodwill store. Since we seem to have enough interest in the idea, I have decided to try one on Saturday May 13th from 10am until 3pm at HobbyTown USA. We will be setting up in the back room and “vendors” are responsible for their own sales, monies, change and receipts. There is no cost to attend or sell! If you have items that you’d like to sell or trade please let me know by May 1st so we can get an idea just how many tables to set up.


Mike Quinn, Joe Schram, Ken Young and several others have been talking about an internal staging yard for the donated layout, and I am excited to see the ideas. What we have envisioned is 2-2’x6’ sections in the middle of the layout that will serve us as a staging area and place to store rolling stock and make up trains. We have talked of mainline access from both directions and a portal through the sky board and into the “hidden staging area”. Mike has submitted some sketches to me and several of us have talked about this. I think it would be a great addition to the layout and Ken Young has gone so far as to pre-buy a lot of Shinohara switches just for this project! More to come!


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