Re: St Louis RPM

Tony Thompson

Doug Harding wrote:

One of the big draws for attending Naperville was the opportunity to purchase Sunshine Kits and carry them home, esp when there was such a long waiting list for mail order and the frustration that Martin did not have an online presence for his business. I know I always went home with half a dozen or so and I saw others walk out with far more. With Martin’s death and the subsequent end of Sunshine Models, that attraction did not just diminished, it ended completely. Couple that with the higher costs, ie registration and possibly hotel, vs other locations, and it is easy to see why attendance has dropped. Of course today there are many RPMs offered around the country, so one no longer has to journey to Chicagoland to get their fix. Often they can get it much closer to home.

    Very true, Doug, on both points. I believe that, compared to Martin, Joe D'elia has been much less proactive in finding new clinic presenters and also in broadening the program. My own impression is that overall Naperville clinic quality and diversity has diminished since he took over. Martin definitely did spend some effort in getting recommendations for new speakers, and did put on a very good program every year. Last year someone said they thought Joe was in "caretaker mode," and though I suspect Joe would be outraged at that, people within earshot were nodding.
     My own counterexample to Naperville would be Cocoa Beach. Consistently good program, strong attendance, strong model display, very good management so that everything runs smoothly. I wasn't at St. Louis RPM a week ago, so can't compare to that, but certainly in my mind, between Naperville and Cocoa, the Cocoa meeting has overtaken and passed Naperville.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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