Please accept my apologies for any typos that you may find in this post. The spell checking routine on the blog software isn't working correctly and it has been difficult to check for all of the errors. They tell us that they are "working on it..."
You never know where the telephone conversation is going to go when it starts out with, "High Mr. Merkel. This is Jessie Reigle; do you remember me?" Of course I remember Jessie; she and our daughter Jayne graduated from high school together back in 2004 and she had been here many times visiting as the two of them grew up.
After we exchanged greetings, she explained to me that she was responsible for a display at the community log cabin in Forest, Ohio, for their annual Tree Town Festival. Since the theme of the cabin display this year was railroads in the area, could I help put together a display of some of my trains for their display? She already had several photos for display from the local library as well as some other goodies that she intended to use. Sure! Why not?
Well, the why not part of this was soon answered as we went to see the cabin in the middle of the community park. Yes, it was indeed a log cabin... "open air" would come in the description somewhere as would limited windows for light, one electric plug and no place to really display trains. I have to admit that I told Jessie that I just couldn't leave my display there unattended and unprotected. But she was on the ball and a few days later called back to tell me that she had a display case that would be locked at all times and she satisfied a few of my other concerns as well. So Janet & I loaded up several engines, cars and buildings and headed off to the park.
Upon arrival there, the staff was very helpful in getting us in to the park near the cabin so that we could easily unload. Not having seen the display case previously, I wasn't quite sure how much of a collection I would need so we had plenty. About half an hour later, the pictured display was ready to go.
I have to admit that the weather didn't cooperate much the two days of the festival. It was HOT! But the cabin porch provided some shade and every once in a while, there was a bit of a breeze so we made out OK. Besides, the cabin was only about 100 feet from the food vendors' area so that meant fair food for the entire time I was there. All in all, it was a pretty good weekend but the heat did keep down the attendance a little. Those who dis stop by the cabin had favorable comments about the display and some had questions & comments. I always like the ones that start out with, "My (fill in the blank) worked for the railroad..." I even had one gentleman who came up and mentioned that his grandfather worked for Lima Locomotive Works which was appropriate since I had three different Lima Loco alumni on display.
Thanks Jessie to you and the rest of the Tree Town Festival group. You made my stay a very pleasant one.