Story by Thom Anderson with photos by Mike Mucklin
The WPRRHS held its ninth annual convention on April 15-16, 2005 at the Holiday Inn in Tracy, California. There were 101 attendees present this year.
Several presentations were made over the two days on both modeling and prototype, covering topics as widespread as Guy Dunscomb's WP photos, the WP in Reno, WP timetables, the Alameda & San Joaquin Railroad, WP coil steel gondolas, and depots. Three layout design presentations were made by Steve Cavanaugh (whose layout was conveniently located in Tracy for up-close viewing for those interested), Steve Hayes and Tommy Holt. There was also a presentation on laser-cut plastic structures, and Virgil Staff brought some 1970s vintage WP movies shot in Nevada and Utah for our viewing pleasure.
There were several vendors present this year selling WP related photos, railroadiana and scale models. John Walker brought a selection of items from the Portola Railroad Museum gift shop. The model displays were few in number this year, and the contest was annulled due to a lack of entries. It appears through participation in the past few years that there is not much interest in a contest amongst the modelers attending the convention.
The banquet speaker was Jeff Asay, author of a long out-of-print book on WP timetables that is being reprinted by the Society in the near future. Jeff is an attorney with the Union Pacific and he gave a talk on the current state of affairs along the former WP lines.
I extend my thanks to those who made presentations this year; Jeff Asay, Steve Bechtold, Steve Cavanaugh, Steve Hayes, Norman Holmes, Tommy Holt, Vic Neves, Bob Pecotich, John Ryczkowski, Virgil Staff, Dave Stanley and Kent Stephens. I also extend my thanks to FRRS President Rod McClure and the members of the Board of Directors for their unwavering support of the convention and the WPRRHS.
I also want to extend my thanks especially to Steve and Norma Hayes for their excellent job hosting the convention, Bob and Lois Mersereau for once again handling the "meet and greet'' at the registration desk, and Vic Neves for again providing the A/V support.
Since I assumed the Administrator position, Steve has been handling the Convention Coordinator duties and Norma took on the thankless job of handling the raffle prize solicitation and ticket sales. Steve and Norma have decided that it is time to to "pass the torch'' and are stepping down from the coordinator and raffle duties. I extend a sincere "thank you'' to both of you for a job well done. Your shoes will be hard to fill.
The 2006 convention is set for April 7-8, 2006 in Chico. More details will be forthcoming later in the year. I hope to see you there!