South Mountain Division
Mid-East Region – National Model Railroad Association
Draft Meeting Minutes – March 9, 2019
There was no SMD meeting in February because of difficulties finding a host.
Division members met at Hobby Town USA in Frederick, MD, hosted by Richard Benjamin, proprietor. 25 or so were present. After looking at the shop’s offerings and socializing, Superintendant Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.
19.3-1 Paymaster’s Report: Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4032.75 in its bank account including a deposit from the MER. In response to a question, the Paymaster indicated that the SMD receives $1 per year per member (in two payments). For the most part, that revenue seems to cover Division expenses. Other possible revenue sources include the Mini-Con and hosting Regional conventions.
19.3-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes): Clerk Harvey Heyser summarized the draft minutes (based on notes taken by Dave Sweeney in the Clerk’s absence and previously distributed by e-mail). Dave Sweeney made the following motion (seconded by Andy Dodge):
Motion: That the draft Minutes for the January 2019 meeting be approved as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Those present agreed that the sense of the motion made at the January meeting was that a summary of draft minutes for approval will be sufficient (rather than reading).
18.10-4 2019 Mini-Con: Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019. Location: Blue Ridge Fire Company, Blue Ridge, PA. Chair Pete Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org) summarized arrangements to date and indicated arrangements were in good shape generally:
a. Registration and set up: Volunteers lined up.
b. Informal clinics: Lined up. Chair Clarke reviewed presenters and topics.
c. Hands-on clinics (make & take): Lined up. There will be a lot of preparation required.
d. Formal clinics (afternoon): 1) Philadelphia MER Convention Committee – brief convention announcement, 2) Jeff Grove – laser technology in modeling, 3) Ira Silverman, author of The Canadian, Last of the Great Streamliners, and 4) Alex Polimeni – model railroad operations as game design. Superintendant Polimeni will bring the projector and screen.
e. Dealer and vendor tables: 1) Larry Nyce – railroadiana, 2) Grant Berry, 3) Jeff Grove – Carolina Craftsman Kits, 4) Mark Scheirer – Foggy Mountain Models – O scale craftsman kits, 5) Dave Sweeney, 6) Bob VanZant, and Michael Groves – Darwin fiber optic system of lights.. Vendors have agreed to make a $10 donation. Chair Clarke requested notification of any specific vendor needs.
f. Modular layouts: George Saar – dead rail layout and (Mr. Saar was unable to attend.) Andy Van Slyke – F scale (large scale) live steamer on rollers. Chair Clarke will coordinate proper safety measures.
g. Raffle – $150 gift certificate to Mainline Hobbies – $10 ticket price.
h. Door prizes – $50 gift certificate to Hobby Town USA, Frederick, an HOn3 MDC kit loco from Andy Dodge and a Classic Miniatures craftsman kit from Bob Johnson.
i. SMD brochure to hand out – not discussed.
j. Participation by other clubs and groups: Hagerstown and Frederick Railroad Historic Society, the Four County Society of Model Engineers, and the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum at Antietam Station will be there.
k. Publicity – not discussed specifically.
l. Video record: HO Scale Customs, who taped last year’s Mini-Con, will be present taping this year’s and requested some comments from informal clinic presenters (with permission only).
m. Manufacturer’s displays: See item e. above.
n. White elephant table: Those present discussed their desire for one and reviewed the effect on Mainline Hobbies.. Frank Benenati volunteered to set up a tally sheet, get change, and make other arrangements for the table. The Division will accept donations rather than charge a set fee for items sold.
o. Food: The Boy Scout group confirmed their participation after Chair Clarke managed to contact them.
p. Equipment needed form SMD members: Chair Clarke requested extension cords and surge protectors, and coolers. (Coolers were not required because the Boy Scouts were confirmed for food.)
19.3-3 Richard Benjamin, proprietor, welcomed everyone to Hobby Town USA of Frederick, MD. Those present thanked him for making space available for the meeting.
19.3-4 E-mails to Members: Superintendent Polimeni reported some difficulties reaching some addresses from the Division’s G-mail accounts. To minimize chances of being confused with junk mail, it was suggested breaking up the membership list (reducing the number of addresses) and making multiple mailings.
19.3-5 Future hosts: The officers met to discuss this issue. A host for the May meeting has been found.
19.3-6 Nominations for the Election (May meeting): Submit names to Scott Schill, Nominations Chair.
19.3-7 Andy Dodge thanked the SMD for the opportunity to participate in SMD activities and indicated he has transferred his membership to the Potomac Division, where he will be serving as Assistant Superintendent.
19.3-8 Winchester Club Layout: Andy Arnold reported that CSX has accepted an offer from the battered women’s shelter to purchase the building the Club currently occupies. The Club is fundraising to build a new building and layout (estimated funding needed – $60,000). In the mean time they have to tear their existing layout down. Documenting that task offers someone interested in AP author credits an opportunity to write about the process of tearing a layout down.
19.3-9 Talking about Our Hobby with Lay People: There is a wide interest in learning about model railroading. How do we communicate with the general public? This was suggested as a round table topic for next year’s Mini-Con.
Adjournment: The Chair accepted a motion to adjourn. Notice of the May SMD meeting and annual election will be communicated to the members.
Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser
Following the meeting, Dr. Michael Groves from Darwin Enterprises spoke on ‘A Revolutionary Way to Light Your Hobby” using low cost fiber optics rather than the complicated wiring required for numerous LEDs.