Show Over, Mixed Feelings

Well, the 28th annual O Scale West (including S Scale West and Narrow Gauge West but not as many as 28) is over. The show was another great success. It went smoothly and all who I talked to had the usual good time. Attendance was higher than last year, but it is too soon to have some specific numbers.

This was my last O Scale West as Chairman. I started it 28 years ago, and over the years have, along with the members of the organizing committee, had to do a lot of work to ensure the show went smoothly and would be enjoyable to the attendees. That has been very successful. Now the adjustment to not being responsible for the show is showing some mixed feelings – a sense of emptiness along with slowly feeling freed from the day to day responsibility of the success of the show. The bottom line is that I am very proud of what O Scale West has become – one of two major 2-rail O scale shows in the country, and the best organized and most fun of all O scale shows.

John Hamilton will take over a Chairman of O Scale West during the summer, so the 2019 show will be under John’s leadership. An added attraction for the 2019 show is that it will include the O Scale National Convention: more vendors, more attendees, a banquet, and possibly other activities will comprise the show which again will be at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara on Memorial Day weekend.

The Hyatt Regency surprised us with a huge cake to commemorate the change of command. That was wonderful and kudos to the Hyatt. O Scale West as of this year has been there for 20 consecutive years, quite a record and something to stand beside the 28 years (and counting) run of O Scale West.

I would like to close this, my last blog entry for O Scale West, with a resounding Thank You! to all who have helped make O Scale West a huge success over the years by attending and spreading the word!

Four More Weeks!

A little more that four weeks before the show! Wow, again time seems to have flown. The other sensation is that the show is like a train hurtling towards me and I can’t do anything about it except get ready. On one hand it is a helpless feeling, and on the other it’s kinda exciting too.

John Houlihan has been busy with clinics and has a great selection for you this year. Take a look at the web site to see what’s in store for you.

Today I sent one of the periodic emails reminding folks of OSW to the various O scale chat rooms. In today’s message I listed the acitivites available at OSW and was taken aback at the list:

– about 200 sales and display tables
– about 30 home and club layouts open for visiting
– 11 clinics, most are repeated, check the web site
– 4 on-site operating layouts: O, On30, S, O Gauge
– model and photo contest
– silent auction
– white elephant auction
– PFE Ice Service meet car
– diorama contest (new in 2018)
– S Scale dinner
– Hotel rooms $142 1-4 occupancy (subject to availability after May 10)
– Paperless registration on-line

I feel very proud of what the show has grown into. Please come and enjoy it – it is for you.

Mailing Finished, Jim Vail

A couple of months before the O Scale West show, we mail a registration form to those who attended the last two shows and to a selected list (likely to come) of manufacturers. This year we included a brief pre-show newsletter, a sheet prepared by the S scale community that describes the activities for but not limited to S scalers, and the Diorama contest the S scalers are managing. The registration from can be downloaded HERE, the newsletter can be viewed HERE, the S scale activity side of the S scale sheet can be viewed HERE and the Diorama contest side of the S sheet can be viewed HERE.

Jim Vail passed away January 28. Jim was very well known particularly in the narrow gauge community and in the wider community of model railroading. A group of Jim’s friends, working with his daughter, will have his layout open and operating for visitors the Sunday after O Scale West; this will be the final run of the layout. In addition, Jim’s daughter will have a table at the show where she will have selected items from Jim’s collection – HERE is more information.

Very Busy

Because I started O Scale West, it has been my baby so to speak. As a result, as a proud parent I was pretty oblivious to the amount of time I spent on it. The way things have worked is that since I am organizer, I do almost all the up front work for each year’s show. Now, as I prepare to hand over the reins to my successor, John Hamilton, my perspective on the amount of time it takes has changed from that of a doting parent who happily serves their child to someone who is critical of how time is spent.

That’s another way of saying that this year I can see how much time I spend on the show. Some of that might be my own proclivity to want everything to be just right. Hope I’m not scaring John with this!

That doesn’t mean the meet will fall apart this year. No, it will be as always – well organized and easy for other to participate in and enjoy.

The most recent activity has been preparation of the bulk mailing. It went like this. I thought we had the outer sheet (flyer/registration form) ready to go, then realized that we need to show our commitment to all scales narrow gauge by adding that name to the banner section at the top of the flyer. Since the flyer is technically late now (March 7) this added stress. Russ Clover came through like a champ with the change. 32# paper had to be bought and shipped to Tom Dempsey who will do the printing. Then I wrote a pre-show newsletter for inclusion in the mailing. Next to last is the sheet the S scalers want to include, which should be done today. Tom will print all of that and ship it to the mailing service. Lastly, the address label file has to be prepared for the mailing service such that the mailing service can use pre-sorted postage; Tim Diebert and I will do this. The mailing service will print the postage,  print the address info, then collate the 3 sheets and fold in the middle, apply “wafers” to keep the sheets together, and mail them.

It is satisfying to see that quite a few folks are using the on-line registration that was added to the web site this year.

Time to get back to work. Have a great day!

Other Sources of Modeling Info – 1

I’ll point out in this post a source of excellent modeling information: Facebook. Facebook has groups, just like yahoogroups. Once you are logged in to Facebook, you can search for groups – try “O Scale” without the quotes in the search bar. People who post to the groups usually include photos, many of works in progress. Posting something is simple – take a photo of your work with your smartphone then post it immediately to Facebook with comments.

There is some nice modeling being done by folks who are new to O scale. Check it out. And don’t worry about getting bogged down in someone’s new pet trick – once your are in a group there is none of that and no advertising.

O Scale West Update

I’ll point out in this post a source of excellent modeling information: Facebook. Facebook has groups, just like yahoogroups. Once you are logged in to Facebook, you can search for groups – try “O Scale” without the quotes in the search bar. People who post to the groups usually include photos, many of works in progress. Posting something is simple – take a photo of your work with your smartphone then post it immediately to Facebook with comments.

There is some nice modeling being done by folks who are new to O scale. Check it out. And don’t worry about getting bogged down in someone’s new pet trick – once your are in a group there is none of that and no advertising.