Conductor Talk

  Dan St John

Golden Spikes had a very successful 2016!  Our rallies in Southern CA (Ed and Anita Price), Eastern Oregon (Bob and Dottie Poole) and Santa Cruz (Chance/St. John) were all well attended, well organized and kept all the attendees busy and happy.  Thank you all for your efforts.  2016 Indio was equally successful.  With Nancy Kissack’s leadership, charm and tenacity we had a very successful Indio Rally.  The best location EVER, no Lake Poole (even with the rain), easy access to the rally activities and tremendous attendance.  15 RVs caravanned into the Fairgrounds and another 6 Golden Spikers joined us for our gatherings, food and meetings.  We had Golden Spikers who were Vendor volunteers, RV sales volunteers, Western Association Officers and Rally Staff as well as a couple who were parked in other areas.  Our rally area was an EZ-UP demonstration arena with 5 units which kept us dry and comfortable.  We served Ice Cream on Friday and Saturday, cleaned up on Sunday, ate Pizza on Thursday and had a Pork Tenderloin and Salmon BBQ/Pitch-in supper on Wednesday which preceded our annual business meeting that night.  The local Model RR Club has a very beautiful, permanent HO layout in one of the buildings on the Fairgrounds.  They were operating their trains during the rally and many of us enjoyed their demonstrations.

As you will read when you get to the minutes our new and not so new officers are:  President, Dan St. John; VP, Nancy Kissack; Secretary, Sue Dixon; Treasurer, Ken Carnes; National Director, Don Pico; Alternate National Director, Karen Schaffer; Newsletter Editor, John Painter and Webmaster, Bob Poole.  The term of office is for the next two years.  A special thanks to these GOLDEN Spikers who are willing to share part of their busy lives to make our Chapter vibrant and successful.  At the Chapter Faire, we attracted two new members:  Don and Judy Ely from Quincy, CA and Barry and Lynne Thompson from Ridgecrest, CA.  In addition, Doug and Lorrie Gibson (friends of Bob and Dottie Poole) and Wesley and Kathryn Pearson (friends of Don and Karen Schaffer) joined us as members!  Welcome to you all, we hope to see you at some of our rallies during our busy 2017.

2017 is another busy year for the Golden Spike Chapter.  The end of April we will be VERY busy riding three trains, seeing old cars (and Fire Engines), touring the CA Railroad Museum and visiting Underground Sacramento (Alan and Kathie Utzig and Dan and Betsy St. John).  This rally is followed almost immediately by a few days in Oakhurst, Mariposa, Yosemite and riding the Sugar Pine Railroad in Fish Camp (Carol Tennyson/Don and Bobbie Pico).  In August Dan and Betsy St. John will meet Golden Spikers in Boise for several days of Boise activities and the main attraction:  Total Solar Eclipse (Thunder Mountain Railroad ceased operations in 2016).  Ed and Anita Price will host their FINAL Golden Spike Rally in Fillmore, CA.  We will ride the Fright Night Train for an early Halloween as well as sight see in neighboring venues.  To end the year Dan and Betsy St. John with the help of Don and Bobbie Pico will take you on a tour of the Orange Empire Railroad Museum in Perris, CA and a tour of the Riverside Mission Inn during their Festival of Lights, just before we caravan to Indio in January 2018 for Viva Las Vegas.  You’ll just have to tell your friends and family that you will see them in 2018 as your 2017 is completely booked.

Looking ahead in 2018 we will celebrate 20 years as an FMCA Chapter!  We are starting to plan our yearlong party; give us your best ideas on how to make 2018 ‘a year to remember’.  We already have May 2018 flagged for a rally in San Diego, hosted by Doug and Judy Key.  If 2018 isn’t far enough ahead, we have our eyes on 2019 as well.  Mark your calendars for the month of May 2019.  Wednesday, May 10th is the 150th year celebration of the ‘first’ Golden Spike driven at Promontory Summit, UT.  We will also plan to ride the Heber Creeper which is not far away.  Plan your trip to Utah and include us in your travels.  This rally is hosted by Tom and Barbara Westerfield.

Thank you for a great 2016 and we hope you can join us at some or all of our 2017 rallies.  Dan St. John, Conductor