Re: NMRA Sacramento

Andy Harman

On Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:42:11 -0700, Richard Hendrickson wrote
As usual, the NMRA contest is an entirely different animal,
reflecting again why prototype modelers need their own (non-
competitive) display.
It seems that there is nearly a 100% consensus now with both the NMRA and RPMers.
Unfortunately, this wasn't reached until 75% of the RPMers who *were* NMRA members and
regular nation attendees dropped out never to return. I remember my conversation with
Allen Pollock, then the newly minted (about an hour) NMRA president. He said the talk
among the NMRA brass was that I was a "lone dissenter" when it came to the issue of
thrusting the NMRA contest and RPM together. Actually, I was the only one still talking
to the NMRA. Everybody else walked, and for the most part, haven't come back. A lesson
I got at the Cincinnati national in 05. I will never go to another national convention.
I supported it and RPM for 9 years, and in return I got *zero* support in Cincinnati.

In the immortal words of Rhett Butler, frankly, my dear, I don't give
a damn. Why would I spend a lot of $$$ to get from Ashland (nestled
in the Cascades and gorgeous in the summer) to Grand Rapids (almost
certainly hot, humid, and midwest-dull) to attend an '"old
fashioned" (ugh!) NMRA convention?
And there is the problem. Would I rather be in California in July than in Cincinnati?
Sure. And if I go there, it won't be to mull around an NMRA convention, I will be out
and about and doing fun stuff. I learned my lesson the hard way.

effort to turn things around was a one-shot deal. Prediction: when
the NMRA fades away like the Cheshire cat, prototype modeling will
still be going strong.
The NMRA needs to fix itself. RPM cannot fix it either voluntarily or by draft. The
NMRA has always defined itself as an "umbrella" organization, and any attempts to
embrace RPM concepts will serve only to alienate the remaining vesties. The NMRA has to
accept the fact that the vast majority of modelers - RPMers and otherwise, are simply
not interested in their contest. The few who still get into the ego trip of winning
contests are going to be disappointed that nobody else shows up for them to beat in
their categories, but it's just not my problem. There is no amount of rule tweaking
that would interest me in having my models judged. It's a demeaning, arbitrary, and
ultimately useless process that contributes nothing to my modeling nor my enjoyment of
the hobby. To the contrary, it's a diversion of my per resources to no useful purpose.

Fortunately, thanks to some occurrences both planned and spontaneous, the NMRA is keenly
aware of the cultural difference between an RPM room and a contest room. But getting
RPMers to travel for a week-long convention and paying hundreds or even thousands of
dollars in travel and lodging costs to be a knot of hair on the back of the beast, when
- as Richard pointed out, we can go to a Naperville, or St. Louis, or Cocoa Beach, or
Marion for a fraction of the cost *and* be the whole beast, it's kind of a no-brainer.


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