Retired Member, Founding Member, Past Chair, and Good Friend
HOW DID OUR SOCIETY BEGIN? by David Davis
In 2008 was the year of my retirement from United Methodist ministry. In retirement, I decided to do volunteer work at The Buhl Community Recreation Center. At this time my wife, Carol was director of the BCRC pre- school. I have always enjoyed model railroading and Carol asked if I could bring my layout for the preschool kids to see prior to Christmas. BCRC member, Mark Radkowski, helped me get set up. Like lightening, Mark brought up several other club members and instantly, everyone was talking about setting up a small show for the public to see during the Christmas season.
It seemed like we had a sizable group of guys and BCRC management allowed us to set up our displays on the 3rd floor of the club. The Administration didn't expect much to happen! Almost over night we had over 20 persons who decided to set up their train sets. The weekend weather turned out like Western PA. Temperature fell to zero and below. Never the less we set up and just before the show we discovered that the club's parking lot was filled and that there was a line stretching out from the Buhl entrance, up 3 flights of stairs and into our show. We felt like we were in The Field of Dreams movie with persons lined up to see our displays, Over 650 were in attendance and immediately our club model train society was born. We met the next month and we have been meeting ever since, with growing interest.
My knowledge of trains was only what I had from my 1950s Marx New York Central steam engine set but others coming into leadership had extensive technological knowledge and much larger layouts really making our society POP and become alive! We've had holiday shows each year since 2008. Since that first show, we moved shows into the Buhl gymnasium with attendance from 750 to 1,100 persons. Our philosophy has always been to gear our shows to children and families. With no charge but accepting donations, we always felt we provided holiday shows where entire families could afford a day out and just enjoy sharing & passing on our love of model railroading. Enjoy the WEB SITE and All aboard