Happy Halloween! I hope a visit to your layouts found gondolas and hoppers full of candy. The weather has started to take a turn toward winter here in Maryland. We had our first freeze warning early this morning. This is good news! Cold weather eliminates most yardwork for a lot of us and allows more time for working on our layout. This is also a good time to evaluate your progress on your New Year’s resolutions I’m sure you set back in January, and I’m sure COVID-19 has done a number on many of them. So, it’s time to update those goals to reflect on what can be accomplished in the next couple of months. I have been taught my entire life to set goals and to make them realistic. My mom always had a five-year plan, even up to the last month before she passed. Goals are forward looking – not meeting a goal is not time to beat yourself up, just a time to reset. Assess where you failed, then MOVE ON. Goals are a learning tool! May I suggest that you pick a project for November and a project for December. Write them down! A goal not written down is only a wish. I am personally going to set four goals and would recommend you might set four of your own. My four are going to be…

Number 1: Finish DCC & sound installs in 2 locomotives and program both with Decoder pro. I’m waiting on parts for these, so I feel this one is very realistic.

Number 2: Complete a Truss bridge installation on my Highline. I also feel this one is realistic as it’s just a matter of installing some abutments as track is installed up to the bridge opening.

Number 3: Install an industrial siding off the low line for a couple of small industries. This one might be more of a reach as nothing has been started other than the beginning of formulating a vision in my mind of what it should be.

Number 4: Complete Highline Trestle bridge over the low line. This is going to be a stretch also as there is a lot I need to learn about building a bridge. I have acquired a couple of reference books and have started on a design so it can be accomplished by New Year’s.

So, what are yours?  Write them down in an email and send them to me and I’ll hold your feet to the fire.

Elections! Thanks to George Wallace, our secretary and just overall great guy, the ballots for the upcoming election are in the mail and many of you may have already received them. I am pretty confident that this will be our last written/printed/surface mailed ballots. Please vote your choices and place your ballot in an envelope and return mail it to George with the address provided. Ballots will be accepted until 1 December, 2020. Since our ballot is a mail in return, this means postmarked before December 1, 2020. No extensions, no drop boxes, so just get it in the mail! Make your vote known. Each of your ballots are important as we have had an election won by one vote in the past. As I have mentioned before, the ballot this year includes a new president, secretary and continuation for a board member. And of great importance, some changes to our bylaws and Constitution. All of these changes have been approved by the board but still need the general membership ratification. As your current President, I recommend you vote yes for all the changes.

Chicago 2021: as of today, the show is still looking good! The new promoters are still short of the first block room nights by 40 room nights, but the hard deadline has been softened to January 2021. I believe the first part of January, a hard decision will have to be made by January 15,2021. There is still some misunderstanding about this first block of rooms being nonrefundable. It’s really prepaid and not nonrefundable in that if the show is officially canceled because of virus concerns, government, or the promoters by January 15th, your monies will be refunded, and you will probably have to request this refund. If the show promoters decide on the 15th to have the show and then it doesn’t happen for some reason other than previously stated, payments may not be refundable. Again, as I have stated in the past, if this scenario plays out the O Scale Central will have a general membership meeting amongst other things at the hotel. I already have a room reservation, so if I can’t get my money back we’re still going! And hope many of you will join us for some things as rail fanning/general membership meeting/BS sessions/etc. etc.

O Scale Central: this program continues to evolve, and progress made. A lot of hard work and time has gone into this. I’m just going to state that this will be the future of O scale 2 rail. Check it out!

Short report on Strasburg: the Strasburg show was held October 17th, although not as large and as well attended as times in the past, was a success! The O Scale Central had their booth there and the module committee had several things out for show and tell. The O Scale Central guys brought a module for display and through the efforts of these individuals, we have five new members. And a whole lot of interest. I was busy as a vendor, but was in eyesight of our display booth and the modules. Every chance I had, I looked over to find our reps engaged in conversation with attendees. I wish to put out a big thanks to John Dunn and Rich Yoder for the display space and support AND for conducting a SAFE show. The O Scale Central gave out 2 prizes for the best train related facemask. This was a fun little contest that we may have to run again.

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, I am reminded of a childhood experience. For many years, I was banned from the basement starting on Thanksgiving. Then on Christmas day, I could return, always finding a new three rail layout built by my dad for me. (Don’t remember my younger brother ever being involved with this, although I’m sure he was included.) For many years I received a new piece of equipment. I remember this layout as being HUGE. It came with great surprise just a few years ago while going through some family photos when I found a picture of one layout and realized it was built on a ping-pong table, 5′ x 9′, but I wasn’t as big then as I am now, so it’s all relative I guess. I bring this up to get you thinking about how you might share the hobby with your family and friends this upcoming season. The virus is sure to change some of the things he done in the past. I urge you to look for new opportunities, beg you to be safe, follow the recommendations, but share.

Thanks, Bruce


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