Stuff does not happen in a vacuum: why is attendance down for consecutive years at Naperville? I, like many others, valued Naperville for the schmoozing of a great many fellow modelers, with attending featured clinics on an available time basis.
My last visit to Naperville I saw a clinic listing as "Santa Fe into Chicago". I thought this was worth attending. Imagine my dismay when the presenter was showing an in-cab ride from Central Illinois into Chicago, complete with the pictures and narration of each train encountered, IN 2004! There wasn't even a Santa Fe at that late date. Martin would have NEVER let that occur at one of his meets. Maybe I should have read the clinic listing which had not been as important years earlier.
People generally like to go where they are comfortable. I get less and less comfortable at each succeeding Naperville event. I believe that Joe is cool with the idea that Martin's event is morphing into a modern RPM, and as stated earlier, there are TONS of modern RPM meets across the country, which is why for every single STMFC loss at Naperville, there is less than one (modern) replacment.
I don't believe that I have any special ability to read the future, but the current eroding lower turnout for Naperville was easily predicted 4-5 years ago.
I am grateful that the spirit of Martin (and Naperville) survives in Cocoa Beach. I just wish C.B. was more centrally located. I look forward to attending my 1st St Louis meet.
I have to say that is not my experience at all at Lisle, formerly Naperville in terms of seeing more modern topics and models. As Tony and I have noted Joe does not seem to be recruiting new people of any era. That does not mean there is mediocre content, it just means it is often the "usual suspects." Hence my plea for "P(l)aying it Forward. Frankly I miss the Freight Car Content of the olden days.
I am sorry people feel driven away but then again maybe some of them could contact Joe about doing a presentation and be part of the solution.