Story by Thom Anderson with photos by Mike Mucklin
Over 120 people gathered at the Chico Holiday lnn on April 7-8 for the 10th Annual WPRRHS convention. Convention host Loren Dunlap, his wife Trish, and their friend Cindy Pierce did a fantastic job putting together the event. The attendance count was over 130 people, all of whom appeared to be having a great time.
Presentations on a variety of subjects were made by Allen Wood, Thom Anderson, Mick Needham, Tommy Holt, Robert Forren, Paul Beckstrom & Dave Braun, Tom Campbell, John Walker, Tom Lawler, Peter Jelito, Tom lrion, Dick Dorn, Matt Vurek and Dale Sanders. One notable absence this year was Ken Meeker, who has been hospitalized the past few months. The Society wishes Ken and his family aII the best for a speedy and full recovery.
John Walker brought a selection of items from the Museum gift shop and sales were brisk, particularly for Jeff Asay's book ''Track and Time'', an expanded and improved version of a book he wrote a number of years ago, with the current version published by the FRRS.
Donations for the raffle were received from Athearn Trains, Walthers, Bates Publishing, Model Railroading Magazine, InterMountain, Classic Mint Collectibles, Microscale Decals, High Sierra Models, Trains Unlimited Tours, Tom's Trackside Trains, The Western Depot, the FRRS, and members Richard Young, Jim Wagner, Tom Lawler, Andy Carlson and Jim Dias. ''Thank you'' to aII of the contributors for your donations.
I also extend a heartfelt ''thank you'' to Gail McClure for her help with the raffle this year, continuing the tradition started by Norma Hayes. Through Gail's ticket selling abilities, enough funds were raised through the raffle to pay for an LCD projector that was purchased just prior to the convention. The savings from not having to pay rental fees for this type of item will fully pay for itself in a few years, and will provide the ability to project digitally formatted presentations at Society functions for many years in the future. Thanks again Gail!
Formerly WP employee Art Lloyd was to be the banquet speaker. Unfortunately, Art became ill, and though he is well on his way to recovery he was unable to be there under doctor's orders. We hope to have Art appear at a future convention.
We were extremely fortunate that Ernie Von lbsch stepped up to "pinch hit'' as banquet speaker at nearly the last minute. Ernie worked as a brakeman and conductor for both the Sacramento Northern and WP, and he also worked on the Tidewater Southern. He was a brakeman on the California Zephyr, where he met his wife Cathy, who was the banquet speaker at our Reno convention where she spoke about her experiences as a Zephyrette. Ernie spoke about his experiences working for the various companies, and showed slides he had taken over the years of interesting rail subjects. Ernie, thank you again filling in at the 11th hour. The show was enjoyed by aII!
It should also be noted that last year at the convention in Tracy, Convention Coordinator Steve Hayes announced that he was hanging up the spurs after 8 successful years of managing WPRRHS conventions. Due to his dedication and perseverance as Convention Coordinator over the past eight years, Steve was presented with an award by the WPRRHS to thank him for his service and accomplishments.
Once again, thank you Loren, Trish, Cindy, Vic, John, Gail, and the facility staff the Holiday Inn for aII of your efforts that resulted in a great convention! It couldn't have been the success it was without your dedication. The 2007 convention is back in the Bay Area. The date and location will be announced shortly.