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Summer is upon us! From the days of running a retail model train shop, I would dread it. Summer was always our slowest time of year.  I guess because everybody was out mowing their lawns, planting flowers, and digging up old shrubs, particularly azalea bushes (which was really just harvesting tree material for the layout in the coming fall). Family vacations, a day or two at the beach, probably all help clampdown on the train money budget. I also don’t like heat,  (God’s way of warning me to be a better person and not go to the hot place below?) not a big fan of yard work anymore, don’t care for mosquitoes and I’m very allergic to poison ivy. All good reasons to stay in the basement. With the virus shut down, this summer might be different. I fully realize that things are starting to get opened up and returning to the “new normal”.  I’m not sure how you return to a “new normal” but, I digress. I strongly urge all of us to once again check in on our O Scale 2 Rail train buddies. Phone calls can be wonderful things. I participated in an O Scale 2 rail online swap meet until my battery gave out a couple nights ago. I don’t know if anything was actually swapped, other than a bunch of stories and some video sharing of layouts under construction. But it was great to just to see familiar faces, hear familiar voices and just talk about O Scale 2 Rail trains. Zoom meetings seem to be the meeting of choice online, and I know several of you have probably paid for some sort of larger service. I would encourage you to set up a Zoom meeting with fellow O scale 2 railers. Enjoy!

Okay so now some updates.

Not trying to let the cat out of the bag here, and I don’t have lots of detailed information. But I do want to report that an effort is underway to hold another Chicago meet in 2021. My main point here is to keep your calendars open for possibly the return of a Chicago meet in March 2021. I promise to send out any hard information received as we go along.

I would also like to report that Matt Norby is proceeding ahead with 2021 SONC plans. As you guys all know, conventions are a lot of work and no one person can pull it off.  I’m putting out a special appeal for those of you that are in the Denver area that can be “boots on the ground” members of the committee(s) to please contact Matt ASAP and volunteer your services. Now if you’re not in the Denver area, but have expertise in areas that don’t require you to be in Denver, please contact Matt and volunteer your services. There’s lots of things that can be done away from the convention site during the planning stage. I’ll also tell you again, working on a convention committee is a way to make some great new friends and renew old acquaintances.

I also want to, again, without letting the cat out of the bag, let you know that considerable and serious work is ongoing for the O Scale Central. I believe the release will be forthcoming.

Modules! I am very excited to report that Rich Randall has agreed to chair a committee for O Scale 2 Rail modules and standards for same.  The big picture here is a desire to have a standard set for debut at the Indy meet in September. The hope is that when one sees standards are available, many will build a module to be set up at the Denver area convention in 2021. There are lots and lots of details yet to be worked out, and this is a massive undertaking, but for now, start thinking of module/scene that you might want to build. After the standards are set, the next big big hurdle will be getting commitments from those that want to bring a module to the convention in 2021 so that we can make sure space will be available. For now, my message is to remain positive and upbeat, not dwell on the negative and all the difficulties in dealing with the details. After all, O Scale 2 Railers are builders!

I hope everyone took a chance to review the models that were built for the shutdown contest. I received a couple of suggestions that if the virus makes a comeback, that we might have this contest make a comeback.  So, be thinking about what you might be able to do, finish a project area, build an unbuilt kit that is in  in your unbuilt kit depository (made famous by John Armstrong?). Maybe even learn a new skill, break out and airbrush, try casting a tunnel portal, use those azalea bush trimmings and build those trees. Write an article for your favorite O Scale 2 Rail magazine. Put together a one page with maybe a couple of pictures article for the “What’s on your workbench” portion of our website”.  Wait what?   Check it out!  An area on our website!  We just need more input/ more content this. It is for everyone, not just the Board of Directors or the president. And it really doesn’t have to be spit polished, just a one page article about what’s on your workbench and maybe a couple of quick pictures with your cell phone. Yeah, you can do that anytime!  You don’t need to have a virus shut you down!

Friends, stay well, take care of your health.

Bruce

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