May 2010 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack


††††††††††† In this monthís report I first wish you all a Happy Summer season. This is what we have been waiting for. Things have been pretty busy at the Museum, both in the building and in the yard.

††††††††††† To start with, we thought we would have only a few more days of the LEGO exhibit. Just before it was due to end, the exhibitís creators, Bill Probert, Steve Doerner, and Elroy Davis, graciously agreed to extend its stay at the DRM through June 27th. I must tell you that really incredible workmanship, extraordinary design and thought went into this grand display. My hat goes off to them for their beautiful display of these renowned building blocks. I would like to thank them for assembling this over the past several weeks, thereby bringing the Great Hall to life. I hope that you will have had a chance to see this work of art before its closing.

††††††††††† In the yard, work is progressing on the turntable. We have had a dedicated crew painting and staining both the deck and lower bridge girder. My thanks go out to Art Slothower for his handiwork on the main girder bridge, painting it a gloss black. Art painted the bridge with a rust converter last fall, but ran out of time because of the change of weather. I might add that this was done single-handedly by Art. What grand dedication!

††††††††††† New member Chuck Sager has also been helping, staining the decking and railings a flat black. My thanks also go out to Chuck for his dedication in this project.

††††††††††† I have ordered 100 new timbers for the ring rail that supports the girder bridge. Many of these have rotted away to nothing and this rail needs some attention immediately. I plan to begin cleaning out the pit all around the ring rail, with all of the loose concrete, over the next several weekends, weather and volunteers permitting. My main goal at this point is to stabilize what is there now before it gets any worse. To me this is the center of our Museum; it is one of our more important artifacts which must be preserved, even if it is these small things at a time.

††††††††††† My long-range goals are to replace the carrier bearings, wood timbers that support the rail and deck, and to repair the concrete walls. These are all expensive and time consuming projects, but will happen as funds become available. Also, the operatorís booth will be rebuilt shortly. We must remember that this artifact must remain safe for our guests and for our members operating it.

††††††††††† In other news, Wade Roese and crew are assembling a shed built of wood for storage of our G gauge layout equipment in the yard. He will be building another one for additional storage of our maintenance equipment.

††††††††††† I would also like to thank J.R. Mitchell for donating a 40 foot auto trailer for storage of our ever-growing inventory of parts and tools.

††††††††††† In closing my report this month, I am trying to keep projects moving in the yard. I will be calling you for help on Saturdays, or even better, call me if you can spare a few hours of your precious time. I would like to be able to set you up with a project so that you will be able to work whenever it may be convenient for you. Please call me at (203)744-0801 or (203)512-5103. See you in the yard!