Established 1994

Pittsburgh Garden Railway Society

PO Box 302
Charleroi, PA 15022

December 2008 Newsletter

Greenberg Show Corner Calendar
Donations in Memory of John Hendzel  New On-Line Newsletter
Extracurricular Train Activities I've Been "Cook'n" on the Railroad
Oktoberfest 2008 Tech Tips
November 8, Business Meeting Video of the Month
Odds & Ends Election Roster



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 for comfort!

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;

  1. promoting garden railroading as a satisfying, productive & fulfilling hobby;
  2. exercising member creativity and sense of enjoyment;
  3. 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.



Celebrating 10 Years
Established 1994

PO Box 302
Charleroi, PA 15022