June 2008 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

††††††††††† Hope all is well with you at the beginning of this summer season. I would like to update you on some of the events happening in and around the Museum. As usual time flies very quickly and news and things can change quickly.

††††††††††† First I will share some of the very sad and unfortunate things that have happened to some of our members over this last month. To begin with, Clarence Gardner, an original member, #25, passed away in Florida. Clarence, also known as Jim, was a walking history of railroading. He worked for the NYC and was one of the last engineers running on the Putnam Division. Jim was a soft-spoken, pleasant man with a wealth of knowledge and always willing to share his experiences on the railroad with me or anyone who had an interest or passion as he did. He will be sorely missed by all who were touched by him.

††††††††††† Our Museum also suffered a great loss in the passing of Rich Shubar, a life member, a Director on the DRM Board, and a true lover of trains of all sizes. Rich became a regular fixture on Tuesday night modeling sessions, and was influential in designing and building our O-gauge layout. He was always impressed at the way he was accepted by everyone at the Museum, and that he was able to pursue his love of railroading. The Museum will be acknowledging Rich by dedicating this layout to him, including a plaque. I will miss him dearly, but still feel that he is there and watching over us.

††††††††††† Our condolences go out to the families of both Clarence and Rich.

††††††††††† Unfortunately two more members suffered great losses over this last month. Both Mike Salata and J.R. Mitchellís houses burned within weeks of each other. Fortunately, there was no loss of life in either incident. My heart goes out to them and their families. We hope for a full recovery and rebuilding, and offer any help we can give them in this terrible time.

††††††††††† We must bond together during these times and support our friends for we are one big family. We may not agree with each other from time to time, but must work and care for each other during these low moments.

††††††††††† In better news, we have been very busy over these last weeks, scrapping much of the steel and rail that has accumulated throughout the yard. To date we have greatly benefited financially from this process, with almost $60,000 in profit, and hopefully more to follow. These monies will be a firmer buffer for our financial stability this year, and hopefully we will be able to pursue some of the projects that were lacking financial support in the past.

††††††††††† The yard also has never looked this good, which is very pleasing to me. This has been one of my intentions right from the beginning. I would also like to thank Jim Poor for persevering with this project.

††††††††††† Beginning on May 10th the Museum opened its fifth exhibit in the building. This is a collection of beautiful art work by the late John Fleming Gould, noted graphic illustrator and artist. Please come to the Museum to see this exhibit first hand.

††††††††††† By the time you read this we will be well along in the preparations for The Little Engine That Could event. This is one of our big events for the year, and I am hoping for a good turnout, both with our guests and, of course, our volunteers.

††††††††††† Well that is about all I can relate for now. A lot has gone on this last month and I am sure more will happen in these weeks to come, both inside and out at the Museum. As always I look forward to seeing you.