Short Line Model Railroad Club

Harry Huckemeyer

Things slowly are changing, and good things appear to be happening. Our problems associated with the virus epidemic are far from over, but there is a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, and we all have hopes that it gets brighter as each day passes by. The recommended vaccines have become available for a while now, and although “availability versus demand” at present is out of sync, there are positive signs that the programs and personnel who administer these vaccines are getting better by the day. Hopefully, this will continue in a positive direction. There are not enough words that can be said to offer the many thanks that go out to all those dedicated people who risk exposure daily as they provide the services required to help get this epidemic under control.

As we approach the end of the first quarter of the 2021 season, not too much has changed regarding the activities that we were so accustomed to enjoying on a regular basis in previous years. Although there were occasionally some relaxations in several areas, the risk and vulnerability were still major considerations on how we chose to live our lives. A good number of my friends took to the roads in their free time, enjoying all that this beautiful state has to offer. We’re seeing some wonderful pictures on Facebook, and thank you for that.

For those who love the outdoors, and especially those familiar with the sound of a passing locomotive or the flashing of those blinking lights at a railroad crossing signal, you may want to put this on your calendar. Up the road not too far is the McCormick-Stillman Park, which is open at present, with its historic 30 acres of park and many things to see and experience. Because of the virus, some of the major attractions there are temporarily closed, but the park and all the outdoors are open daily to the public, including its scenic train ride and vintage carousel, which are available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There’s more—on April 10, the park is holding an event for families that goes by the name of “Tents by the Tracks,” and for those grandparents or parents who would like to provide a special treat to those dear to you, for the first time ever, the park is offering this special event which will run from 4 p.m. on the 10th to approximately 8 a.m. the following morning. Basically, you would have to supply your own tent and sleeping bags and rent a space (12’ x 12’ for four) in a designated area from the park, or larger if required to an 18′ x 18′ for six. Everything else is provided by the park, including free train and carousel rides from 5 to 9 p.m., movie, dinner, popcorn, train shed tour, and Grab & Go Breakfast. To me, it sounds great; however, for more details, you can call the park directly at 480-312-2312 and ask for Valerie. You can mention that I told you to call, and I’m sure you will enjoy talking with her.

From all the members of the Short Line Model Railroad Club, we wish you all the best as we approach a new beginning of a new era. The coronavirus will continue to be the major topic on our daily bulletin boards, but with hope and the fine efforts of all those individuals who are working so hard to keep us all safe, better days will soon be within our sights. Looking forward to a brighter and, hopefully, more exciting new year. If you’re looking for any information regarding anything from above or regarding our club, feel free to call 480-802-4976 or contact us by email at [email protected].

Best regards to all, and stay safe and stay healthy.