March 2019 from
Jerry Pyfer

Oh, the irony of it all

If you may have noticed, the last three chapter programs (CGW trio of George Strombeck, Randy Garnhart and Mark & Mike Nelson, John Dziobko and Mark Jones) were all presented with traditional film slides. You may also know, I am still a staunch supporter of slide film. I don’t even own a digital camera.

Well, my show for the chapter this month will be a…, wait for it…a digital presentation, go figure.

Rockford O Scalers

As a child, I would get an occasional dream that I’m in a house, the basement to be exact. Everywhere I looked, there were trains. Trains to the right of me, trains to the left of me, trains all around me.

The Saturday of the February Chapter meeting, some of us were invited to take a look at the train set up of the Rockford O Scalers. I had been invited before but always said, later, next time. This was that next time.

The childhood dreams I told you about earlier came true. WOW about sums it up. This is an all O-Gauge model railroad, so you won’t have to squint your eyes to see it, with lots of detail. Chatting with the group, we set up an open house for the NWI folks for the Saturday of our Photographer of the Year Contest.

You are invited to the Rockford O Scalers open house on Saturday April 27, 2019 between 2pm and 4pm. They are at 3886 Lookout Drive, Rockford, IL. Which is south off of Samuelson Road just west of the Rockford Jefferson High School, where we use to have the annual Rockford train shows.

NWI Chapter
Final Dues Update

Thank you for staying and rejoining us for 2019.

Your NWI dues portion will remain at $20 for 2019. The NWI Chapter will only accept our portion, the NRHS portion must be sent to the NRHS.

You have several options for the NWI dues payment: Mailed to our P.O. Box, mailed directly to our Treasurer Lloyd Rinehart at 522 Bradshaw Street, Dixon, Il., 61021 or presented to Lloyd at a chapter meeting. He will not be attending the February meeting.

If you haven’t renewed by now, your address label will have a red mark-up indicating such. The March edition will be the end of your membership-subscribership.

Meeting Cancelled by Weather?

The question came up once again, how can we find out if a Chapter meeting is cancelled due to weather.

We have two options for such a notice. First, Roger Hervey, our webmaster, will have it posted on our website. I will contact him early in the week if the weather has a chance to go bad. On that Saturday, I will give Roger the order to post yes or no.

Lance Wales will set up a facebook site for the
Chapter to give an indication for those that choose to go with facebook.

Railroader’s Class Picture

Following the February Chapter meeting, Mark Broman had hoped to get a photograph of all the railroaders, active and retired in attendance. I have heard from a few later that thought it would have been a good idea. I think it would have been a wonderful idea, so here is what we are going to do.

The November annual meeting will not only be a celebration of the chapter, but we will plan on a Railroader’s Class Picture to be taken during the course of the evening. If you ever got a check for working on the railroad in some capacity, active or retired, and are a chapter member or subscriber, you are welcome to participate. Now, how can we show what railroad you work or worked for, T-shirt or some other apparel?

28th Annual RRVD Train Show

We will once again take part in the Rock River Valley Division of the National Model Railroad Association’s 28th annual train show to be held March 30 and 31st.
John Fredrickson will handle set up and would appreciate your help to represent the NWI Chapter on Saturday and Sunday. I plan to be there Sunday. We can use three people per day. Let John know if you can help out so he can get a name tag/pass for you: 815-226-0670.

The show opens to the public Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Sunday between 10am and 4pm.

The train show will take place at Belvidere North High School gymnasium located at 9393 Beloit Road, Belvidere.

Last Slide Scanning Notice

As noted on Page 2 of this newsletter, Lance Wales will be available again this March meeting to scan your slides for the photo contest in April.

You should inspect your slides before giving it to Lance. Are there any goobers, fibers or scratches? We will be glad to scan it for you, but you need to detect any imperfections prior to scanning.

Oh by the way,
I got a book

Friday afternoon, March 8, 2019, I was sitting in Mike Schafer’s production office at 3:00pm. A once upon a dream project was about to come to completion.

Unbeknownst to me, this project actually started back on September 1971 when assistant superintendent Bob Cochran hired me onto the Milwaukee Road as a trainman at West Yard, South Beloit, Illinois.

But for our purposes, the first fire was lit when after explaining how the Milwaukee Road worked around Beloit that they said, “You should write this stuff down before I take it with me to the great beyond".

I had written stories of my railroads experiences as magazine articles in hopes of getting some published in magazines. One such story was printed in TRAINS magazine back some time ago. I still get complements about that one from time to time. So the material had been building.

I also had the wisdom to identify each slide during that time and kept my timebooks for more complete information that would have been lost with age. Although, when I get trading war stories with fellow railroaders, the facts just come streaming back, complete with names, engine numbers, locations and the incidents as if it was yesterday. Seems most railroaders have this same ability.

Anyway, after many starts and stops and holding in the siding, we got out onto the main line and Mike’s team began the layout in earnest. What we were doing was, trying to fit a 10 pound ham into a five pound can. So much was ending up on that old cutting room floor that I was both concerned the good stuff was getting cut, but yet the 128 pages were already stuffed.

So here we are Friday afternoon, and after seemingly endless proof reading and to the point we are getting blurry-eyed and we can’t wait to get it out of the shop.
Mike’s assistant Tom Hooper pushed the button and away it went to the printer.

I can expect the first of the Milwaukee Road - Tales of the Racine & Southwestern books to arrive in my little hands by early April. I will have some to sell at Chapter meetings and various places I visit. I anticipate the April Chapter meeting will be the first time I can get it directly to you guys. So, if you want it sooner, White River Productions has the $49.95 book plus postage, for $45.00 free shipping through April 30, 2019, ready to ship once they receive to book.

For all of you that said I should do a book after watching some of my slide shows, now go buy one. …Jerry Pyfer

For more information about the Chapter, see Meetings and Join.

Chapter address

North Western Illinois Chapter - NRHS
P.O. Box 5632
Rockford, IL 61125-0632