by Larry Marcinko
Our PGRS Canonsburg Oktoberfest event 2008, with much thanks and
credit due Ann Celento for securing funding and our spot in the
festival, made quite a few "bonus points" in addition to having
fun. Not only were many members able to showcase their special diverse
talents, but over $1300.00 cash, seven pieces of rolling stock, one
scale vehicle and assorted figures, new canopy tent and some new
technological gadgetry for special effects were added to PGRS' inventory
of paraphernalia. Light pole and street banners were flown in the name
of 84 Lumber and Pittsburgh Garden Railway Society for the duration of
the event The 84 Lumber theme was also used at the following month's
Greenberg Train Show for maximum advertising exposure.
In addition to the many 'elves' without whose great support and grunt
work the display would be stuck in our trailer, many members' standout
talents made the display the pleasure that it was...to build and watch.
Bill Malick's rendition of 84 Lumber's Mars retail outlet, complemented
by Gene Linck's realistic wood sheds and lumber stacks were as true to
form as their real world counterparts all built from scratch.
Keith Baggus scratch-built lumber company mill with corrugated tin roof,
timber conveyor, sawdust burner and huge smoke stacks made quite an
imposing industrial footprint with its generous supply of raw scale
timber. Keith's loaned log cars hauled the raw goods in, while a string
of professionally detailed 84 Lumber rolling stock a la Mike Fredrick
moved the finished product out.
Dave Bodnar's 'action forest' added one-of-a-kind animation with a
lumberjack felling a tall pine and the tree's fall, all accompanied by
the appropriate chopping, falling and lumberjack yelling. This all
happened at the touch of a button and, of course (knowing Dave), reset
on demand with another button. More 'Bodnar custom effects" were the
remotely controlled sounds of a chain saw, rip saw, more various mill
sounds and even a siren to warn away children too close to the display
The meticulous detail and creative handiwork sparkled with Frank Magri's
under-construction house showing 84 Lumber sheeting on lower stud walls
and exposed 2 x 4 2nd floor framework allowing a fine look at intricate
internal studs, rafters and stairwell! Frank's boss at the cabinet shop
sat on the tailgate of a '56 Ford pickup, backed into the driveway
busily on the phone while it's cargo of fine cabinetry waited aboard to
be off loaded and installed.
Alycefaye Stewart's custom hot air balloon and ball field scene sported
the 84 Lumber logo and set an inspiring example of how a captivating and
out-of-the-ordinary interest can be creatively incorporated using
ingenuity and imagination to call an audience's attention. Using an
artist's touch and talent, Alycefaye skillfully made the scene a
diversion with a reason to be there!
We hope you all had the opportunity to stop and see the action. Whether
you were involved in small or large ways or even just coming out to
chat, our club went above and beyond it's primary goal of having fun.
We've surpassed additional goals that go hand in hand with the first;
- promoting garden railroading as a satisfying, productive
& fulfilling hobby;
- exercising member creativity and sense of enjoyment;
- creating positive social outlets that enable us to grow as
people and share the good things in life.
Why not come out and share some time? What things in life make you
happy? Train shows and attractions, travel, gardening and (attention
train challenged spouses!) even peripheral spin off interests that have
nothing to do with railroads have a place in our club, making the cold,
dull days of winter a little warmer. Maybe you'd like to share an
interesting destination, spearhead or help with a trip or display, visit
others' or open your own railroad to run trains; garden and/or design
layouts and most importantly interact with members. Each member makes
the club more valuable just by joining us and offering their own
diversity of interests and personality. Grow and enhance your own
special attributes by volunteering and getting to know fellow members.
Don't be shy, let your hair down.
We have wonderfully diverse and interesting members who epitomize the
words warm and friendly. You are bound to find like-minded and
enjoyable friends that are "keepers".
Just come out and give us a try.