MER Director Candidates, 2019

Nominees for NMRA MER Director were announced in The Local newsletter for July and August. You should receive paper ballots or electronic voting instructions in August. The deadline to vote is 3 September. The three candidates are Randy Foulke, Jerry Lauchle, and SMD’s Robert Morningstar, from Greencastle, PA. Check out the latest Local for all the candidate profiles.

Here is Bob’s bio…

Bob Morningstar

I have been an HO scale modeler since 1978 and member of the NMRA since 2006. I have served as past treasurer and president of the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum.

My desire to serve as a director is driven by my desire to give back to the hobby and the organizations that promote it. My peers consider me a consensus builder and problem solver. I have attended the past two MER conventions and open my layout annually during the local Mainline Hobby Supply hobby shop open house layout tours. My health is excellent and I am willing to travel for conventions and meetings. Evidence of my passion for the hobby includes publishing to the Model Railroad Hobbyist (MRH) website blog (search “bobmorning”), and at my website, I have presented clinics at the South Mountain Division (SMD) Mini Conventions. In 2018 I demonstrated scratch building 3-aspect signals, and this year I did a soldering clinic.

The process of obtaining my MMR has begun. The documentation gathering phase is currently underway. I did obtain my Golden Spike award in 2018. I entered a structure for the first time into the MER’s model contest at the convention in Rockville, MD, and was awarded 3rd place.

This is a fascinating hobby which has provided me with 40 years of relaxation, friendship, and personal satisfaction. Contrary to popular thinking I believe the hobby is not headed for a massive decline. We do need to engage those who express an interest, raise our awareness amongst the general public, and avoid the exclusivity mindset that I have seen from time to time. Leveraging social media, promoting the hobby outside of normal channels, and not being afraid to try new methods will be critical to the continued success of the hobby.

Mainline Hobby Supply Seeks Layouts for September Open House/Tours

Good day fellow model railroaders.

We would like to know if you are willing to patriciate in this year’s open house layout tours on September 21 & 22, 2019?

Please let us know as, soon as possible, what days and hours your layout will be open. A brief description will be needed or an update if you have any changes in your layout.

Sharing your hobby and interests with others is one way to bring more people into the hobby.

And in advance, Bonnie and I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have helped us out over all these years by opening your homes and clubs.

Thank you,

Brian Wolfe

Mainline Hobby Supply

Liberty Bell Special 2019 Update

Submitted by Chip Stevens, Philadelphia Division/NMRA

Vacation? We don’t need no stinking vacation!

Said none of the convention committee for Liberty Bell Special 2019 ever. The committee and the Division are hard at work finalizing what promises to be a great experience for our attendees in October. The host hotel is so excited about our upcoming get-together, they’ve redecorated the entire lobby and common areas. Ask the Region Board members who navigated through the plastic curtains and plaster dust to hold their periodic meeting at the hotel last month if the renovations are actually taking place.

Your author is getting older by the day. I remember my high school sweetheart was pleased that she got an IBM Selectric typewriter as a graduation present. Typewrter? I mention this only to show how far we’ve come since 1961 and to demonstrate the importance of this new-fangled thing called “website”.  And I mention website because our webmaster is laboring diligently to keep the Special site updated with the latest news regarding the convention. In fact, he’s foresworn a vacation this summer to keep the site current with the committee’s progress. If you haven’t all ready done so, bookmark the site to stay abreast of all that is going on in preparation for October. Currently, the clinic schedule is on the site and I have it from good authority that the detailed clinic descriptions are about to be posted. Don’t let The Hot Rod Chicken leave you wondering. Check for an explanation.

Also on the site is a list of the Open Houses and OpSig sessions, again updated as we add layouts. There are a great number of super layouts covering all scales and interests. The committee has been in touch with the Weather Gods” to make sure there will be no rain for the outdoor layouts. Trust me! We would still like to have some of you “outliers” speak up for hosting visits at your empires for travelers to and from the convention.

For those who don’t want to leave our spacious new convention digs, there will be two modular layouts which will offer operating times within the hotel. Our thanks go out in advance to the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society Modular Group and the New Jersey FreeMo Group for donating their time and equipment to make this possible.

And what would a convention be without a banquet? Our very talented liaison with the hotel has challenged the hotel Chef to prepare something different for us Saturday night. This won’t be the usual rubber chicken drowned in gravy meal. Our liaison and the chef have agreed to prepare a buffet featuring actual dining car recipes for your enjoyment. We are hoping the banquet hall won’t sway and rock like a dining car, but the fare will equal or exceed what you may recall from the golden age of meals on rails.

So while you’re “down shore”, up in the Poconos, out at OBX, or wherever your vacation plans may take you, make time to register for Liberty Bell Special 2019. There are some deadlines posted on the website. Stay abreast of deadlines, additions, changes, and enhancements throughout the summer.

You’ll be glad you did!