Re: The Twelfth St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler's Meet

Daniel A. Mitchell

I’ve not been to the St. Louis meets, but I’m a regular at the Naperville (now Lisle) meets, and always attend the STMFC dinners.

What what I’m going to say here is not new, but it’s worth remembering. The aging of any group is worrisome. However it’s not necessary (though desirable) to have a big influx of young members to combat this. A major part of the model railroad community has always been middle-aged or recently retired folks joining, or especially rejoining, the hobby. Young adults don’t make up a big fraction of hardly any such groups as ours. They’re too busy working, raising a family, getting more education, or maybe just surviving. They may have been model RR’s once, but just can’t fit it in during such hectic times.

I worked for many years part-time at a hobby shop. It was not at all unusual to have an elderly man come in and buy a complete set of trains (not necessarily a “train set”) to start into the hobby. The story was always something like … “When I was a kid I always wanted a model train but my parents wouldn’t buy me one, then as a teenager I couldn’t afford on, and as an adult I was too busy to get one. Now I’m retired and have money and time, and by gosh I’m gonn’a have a TRAIN!"

While it won’t reverse the "aging” issue, a steady inflow of such middle-aged, even elderly folks can sustain the community or even make it grow in numbers.
Dan Mitchell

On Jul 23, 2018, at 11:52 AM, Eric Lombard <elombard@...> wrote:

 Good morning everyone 
 I am one of those new faces. In fact, this was my first RPM.  I came down on the train from Chicago and stayed with my sister in O’Fallon. I was very impressed with the Collinsville was a wonderful experience to see in person what modelers achieve in the present day. I enjoyed talking with vendors and meeting a couple of people I’ve corresponded with for several years but had never met in person. If I have a suggestion, it would be to somehow post alphabetized a list of attendees and where they are from. I would’ve liked to meet more people but I didn’t know how to find them not knowing what they look like!  Thanks again for all the hard work put into bringing the RPM about. 

Eric Lombard
Homewood, IL
Headinding for the afternoon train home

On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 8:54 AM Bill Welch <fgexbill@...> wrote:
My topic was one that has a fairly narrow appeal—maybe i am wrong—and what impressed me is how many faces I did not recognize listening. The conventional thinking is that our hobby is aging and therefore doomed. I don't see it based on the number of newcomers I see on a regular basis. I do wish I had included information for people about this list, and the Styrene and Resin lists.

My only complaint is that the Canteen closed too early. I heard interest in having more clinics and repeating clinics. The facility is really great I think and the CREW was on top of everything.

Bill Welch

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