WPRRHS 1998 Convention Report and Gallery - Stockton, California

By John Walker with photos by Mike Mucklin

Steve Hayes and John Walker

Nearly 100 people attended the 1998 WPRRHS convention held at the Stockton Inn on May 8th and 9th. Convention directors Steve and Norma Hayes did a fantastic job of setting up, coordinating and executing a great gathering.

Clinic's included model railroad photography by the nicest Texan you'll ever meet; Mr. Tommy Holt. Modeling WP ''Beer'' cars by Eel River ''Beer Car'' manufacturer Jim Booth. John Walker used a variety of member slides to show detail shots of the WP's Stockton Yard facility. Jack Palmer contributed some slides to the program while Ken Meeker helped describe some of the items we were looking at. Dave Stanley presented a program on the Central California Traction Co. and announced that his CCT book will be available soon. Jack Parker and Bob Larson showed some vintage WP slides from their collections. Ken Rattenne shared his multi-media presentation on the WP and Ken Meeker presented his tribute to the old WP dispatching office in Sacramento with his ''Odyssey to Omaha'' program. Virgil Staff kept everyone on the edge of their seats as he showed four WP color movies from his collection! Todd Clark of Icon Video provided a video tape showing the first renditions of a series of new WP video's featuring the color movies of Virgil Staff.

WP Authors Panel

An authors panel consisting of Guy Dunscomb, Ken Rattenne, Virgil Staff and Kent Stephens enthralled listeners when they recounted their work in bringing notable WP books to print. The joy and frustrations of the publishing business were explored and many memories of kind, helpful WP employees and memorable experiences on the WP were relived.

Guy Dunscomb

The museum gift shop did a lot of business and the members swap table was phenomenal! The modeling displays were bigger than last year but surprisingly, few wanted to compete in the contests. Instead many people just showed their models and discussed modeling techniques with other members. A great time was had by all. Good food and great fun. The icing on the cake was a $1,400.00 profit on the event, which will go to the continuing development of the FRRS/WPRRHS Arthur Walter Keddie Railroad Library in Portola.

Again, our thanks go out to Steve and Norma Hayes, Vic Neves for handling the A/V, and all of the volunteers who helped make this another great event!