Minutes of the most recent meeting
Santa Fe Model RR Club Trainsactions
Instant Minutes of the August 9, 2022 SFMRRC meeting
1. Welcome. At 6:40 p.m. Tony Balano, executive committee member, welcomed everyone to the Eldorado Community Center. We had 16 members and 1 guest present.
Balano thanked Roger and Roxy Moose for hosting the meeting, and for volunteering a presentation.
2. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Jeff Taylor reported that the Club has $4,545.95 in its checking account and $2,146.71 in CDs.
3. 2022 Holiday Bank Layout. Gary Lee was unable to attend, but Balano reported that Lee has heard nothing from the bank in the last month. We expect that the bank layout will be up and running for two weeks in December, possibly three.
Webmaster Bob Dolci asked that he be given the dates and times for the bank layout as soon as they are available.
4. Train Shows. Ed Williams reported that a fall show is already out of the question, so focus may have to be on a spring show. Roger Moose has volunteered to help with the HO modular layout, but more volunteers for the Show Committee are urgently needed: no volunteers, no show.
Williams added that our best bet for a show venue is El Museo’s A and B rooms. El Museo will need to be paid more than the $250 we have given to them in the past, perhaps $500 or more. Balano said tha would probably be OK.
Williams will be unavailable until November, but could start work on a spring show after that. It will be a much smaller show than the Club put on before the Covid pandemic: G scale is out entirely, the HO layout will be much smaller, and even the 3-rail O scale layout will be smaller.
5. Club Picnic. Balano reported that he has contacted the Nuckolls Tap Room at Lamy about catering a picnic for us, but they haven’t responded with specifics. He will next look into using the Eldorado (ECIA) picnic area, and finding a BBQ caterer for the food, perhaps in late September or early October.
Balano also said that a trip on Sky Railway had been suggested, but that the word on the street is that these trips are pricey. Jeff Taylor reported that most of the trips on Sky Railway cost $100 per person and up.
6. Meeting hosts and programs. Phil Haworth volunteered to host the September meeting. Program Coordinator Bob Dolci will find a presenter for that meeting or do it himself.
We need hosts and presenters for October and future meetings. Neither job is particularly difficult or time consuming!
7. Future of the Club. Balano reported that the Executive Committee continues to discuss where the Club is headed, and welcomes member comments and ideas. The committee hopes to have a recommendation early in 2023.
Bob Dolci said that many organizations are struggling due to Covid and other factors. Members are getting older, and the future of any kind of club depends on getting younger folks to join. This is not likely in Santa Fe, where the population is skewed to older folks, and where our only public recruitment efforts are train shows and the Bank’s Christmas holiday event.
Dolci wondered whether the Club could survive as it is, focused on train shows and holding monthly meetings? Perhaps a different format, based on a newsletter or internet news group, would be more workable? Maybe a “Model Railroad Association.”
Dolci suggested we revive the pre-Covid layout open house events, where Club members spend one or two Saturdays visiting home layouts. He said these visits are fun, and offered to coordinate them later this year or early in 2023.
Vick Thomas said he would look into the cost of advertising on “meetup.org,” a web site that lists clubs looking for members. Neil Wenthe said that paid advertising tends to be an expensive way to attract new members. He added that documentary-style visits to model railroads could get the word out about model railroading, but such coverage is scarce in small cities like Santa Fe.
Bob Dolci added that if a person is interested in local model railroad activities, they will almost automatically go to the internet, where they will find our web site. It does not get many hits per month.
Bob Hayden replied that the Estate Committee and Help Desk get two or three hits a month, so we are there for those who want to find model railroad activity. The current web site serves as our front door, and it works.
8. Other business. Comments and questions for the good of the Club. None.
The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
Roger Moose presented a great 25-minute talk on railroads he visited while on business in Peru. One narrow gauge line runs from a city to the Inca archeological site of Machu Picchu, high in the mountains. The line suffers frequently from rock slides and other geological calamities, but hangs on.
Roger noted that visiting the railroads in Peru requires at least five days in Peru, plus the time to get there and get back. Not a trip you’d take on the spur of the moment.
Thank you Roger!
Next meeting: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 6:30 p.m. at the Eldorado Community Center.
HOSTS NEEDED for the October meeting and beyond. PLEASE VOLUNTEER!
Submitted by Bob Hayden, Secretary