Monday, October 24, 2011

Friends of the Freight Car, Part 2

My previous post describing what the Friends of the Freight Car represents, and how it came about, had a full history of the shirts. Here’s a link:
     I should mention another piece of the FOTFC history, which I failed to include in the previous post. After that initial dinner in 1990, a group photo was published in Railmodel Journal (November 1990, page 4). The editor, Bob Schleicher, was at the dinner and included in the photo caption not only the identities of everyone in the photo, but also listed the invitees who had not been able to attend, something I should have done in my original post. Here they are: John Armstrong, Scott Chatfield, Jim Eager, Martin Lofton, Terry Stuart, and Mont Switzer.
     Another iteration of the Friends of the Freight Car dinner was held at the Lisle, Illinois meeting on the evening of Thursday, October 20. It took place in the Marriott hotel at which we met, and Richard Hendrickson acted as MC. After dinner, Bill Schneider of Rapido was the dinner speaker. He gave us some background and insight into Rapido as a company, and talked about the production process for models, including freight cars. It was a very good after-dinner talk, in that it wasn’t too intense and had some humor from place to place. And for those not aware of how model production is conducted in China, it was a very interesting description of the problems and benefits of that process.
     Richard and I, as ongoing hosts of the FOTFC dinner in a variety of previous venues, felt that this one went very well. We had a good meal from the hotel, the speaker was quite effective, and best of all, we didn’t have to organize the meal itself or deal with finances. Those aspects were handled as part of the overall convention by Joe D’Elia, and everything worked very smoothly. We are certainly open to future dinners in this mode.
     Present plans are to have an even less-formal meal at the Cocoa Beach meeting in January, likely a buffet lunch at the hotel. As in the original idea of these meals, it is really intended to be a socializing occasion for freight car enthusiasts, both experienced and novice, and there is no agenda beyond that. The limited time span available to eat lunch means that we will not have a speaker or any other formalities.
     I welcome the revival of these get-togethers for those of us who concentrate on freight cars in our modeling.
Tony Thompson

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