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PHOTO GALLERY 30 - page 1

Diamondhead 2008


Fifteenth Annual International Steamup

January 18 - 20, 2008 


15th International Small Scale Steamup - Diamondhead, Mississippi - Group Photo by Carol Jobusch

“Let the Good Times Roll” – a Mardi Gras Party theme – is a continuing tradition each January in Diamondhead, Mississippi.  Hosted by Jerry Reshew and supportive friends, “Diamondhead” is the January place to be.  The 2008 Steamup was a success by all measures.  

Jerry Reshew states that ”the hotel was its usual state of confusion, the general availability of local food services was excellent, and there were smiles galore as old and new friendships were established. The outstanding efforts of our volunteer staff made it all happen and the program booklet does give recognition where due, even though it probably goes unread until later in the year. 

A total of 203 persons attended. Confirming Diamond’s “International” appeal: 14 were from Canada, five from the United Kingdom, three from Japan, one each from Mexico and Trinidad West Indies.  

From across the United States, literally from coast to coast, people came by plane, train and automobiles to Diamondhead. 28 were from Florida. 19 each came from California and Texas. Eight each were from Colorado, Georgia, and Mississippi.  Seven each came were from Minnesota and New Jersey.  Six each were from Louisiana and Washington state,  A total of five each came from Arkansas, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee and New York,  Four each from the states of North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia,  Three each came from Alabama, Missouri, Utah, and Wisconsin,  Two each were from Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Oregon.  One person each from Iowa, Kentucky and Vermont were also in attendance.  

Jerry reports the 2008 Steamup used 60 gallons of distilled water (including what Alan Walker used for tea), 4 gallons of alcohol, and a whopping 85 containers of butane.  He warns that next year the gas fired steamers will have to purchase their own butane.  Jerry says it costs too much to just include it when the large locomotives use about one can per fill.  The coal burning guys bring their own supplies. “I don’t have a count as to how many pounds they used, but it was enough to set off the smoke alarms a couple of times - I love it!” 

There was competitive fun for children of all ages: a Cricket Locomotive Match, Drawbar pulling or Weight Lifting contest and the world famous Shay-up.  Sonny Wizelman had officially inscribed in the Wizelman Book of Records that 26 Shays were coupled together and running in unison.  The objective is to get two full laps or better without breaking up the train.  Some engines pulled or pushed ones that died, but proper Shay etiquette suggests that malfunctions be ignored.  At previous Shay-ups, 29, 30 or 31 were operating in tandem, depending on who was counting.  Also, while such mayhem was going on trackside, several steam boats were tranquilly navigating the hotel pool.  

Dealer displays and the Steamup Flea Market were busy.  There was something for everyone, both new and old, and prototypes of soon to be released models.  Attracting attention were Accucraft’s Southern Pacific Cab Forward and their Canadian Royal Hudson 4-6-4,   Aster’s Great Northern S2 with preproduction locomotives in Glacier Park Green and black performing flawlessly. 

From the latest Aster’s BR-9Fs and SNCF 140Cs to a Southern Schools with original passenger consist circulated before appreciative spectators.  Naturally the coal fired locomotives with their natural aroma and fire box glow attracted trackside admirers for Bill Courtright, John Coughran, Yves Guillaume, Caleb Roberts, Geoff Spenceley and John Shaw. Watching John Shaw fire his Jumbo is a like a graceful ballet, moving coal firing from engineering science to performance art.  

Demonstrating the inclusive spirit of Diamondhead, even diesels were on parade for the non-nostalgic rail enthusiast.  Jerry Hyde’s F7 and GP 9’s diesels growled on command. Bob Pope’s “one of a kind” diesel passenger train was a marvel all its own.  It is a rolling wonder of superb and imaginative craftsmanship. 

In addition to “one on one” tutoring and orientation to small scale live steam, seminars were presented by Bill Ford on electronic boiler monitoring, Phil Bronner on resin coaches.  Howard Freed’s recent trip to India provided the context for his seminar on the Darjeeling, literally one of the narrow gauge wonders of the world.  With a Roundhouse Darjeeling “Class B” locomotive and a set of Stan Richmond’s “The Car Works” Darjeeling coaches, you can have your very own. 

Throughout the day, when the seminar room was not scheduled, “Diamond Jubilee” a DVD was shown.  This hour and 45 minute program celebrates the 60th anniversary of G1MRA and reviewed the 2006 festivities across the UK. Also, before an appreciative North American audience, Jerry Reshew was presented the G1MRA “President’s Cup” for his life-long leadership in Gauge 1.    

The class act of the weekend was a superb Buffet luncheon at the Diamondhead County Club. Entertainment was by the nine musicians of the Clack Valve and Cornets Steam Band.  A full concert program under the leadership of Bandmaster, Joe Hall, performed for a standing room crowd at the Diamondhead Resort later that evening.  

Harry Wade said, “I was very glad to be back, mostly to see the friends I've made over the years who I would probably not see otherwise.”  He quipped, “Of course it is entirely possible that I wouldn't remain friends with some of these people if I saw them more often!”  Harry then reflected, “It seems like the time passes too quickly, more quickly each year, and there are more people to catch up with than there is time and I end up thinking I needed and should have spent more time with this person or that.  Then there are the new friends you make.” 

“Although the registrations were up to nearly the levels of past years there did not seem to be the congestion, especially around the track sites, there has been in some years past.  Track time and prep table space seemed to always be readily available when one wanted it.  Also, I thought the continuous free coffee and King Cake in the hospitality room was a bad thing to do because I've been trying to lose weight and I dropped in for a bite much too often.”  

“I always look forward to seeing two things, the introduction of new locomotive products, specifically Aster, and this year was no exception, and then I also am very interested to see what will show up that has been scratch built by builders such as Dick Abbot.  Regarding the facility, Harry said, “I thought the hotel was back near to its former glory days (right!), it never has been even a 1-Star facility and never will be, it is what it is, but for this event so as long as there is a bed and hot water my needs are met.” 

Norm Saley of Orlando observed that “Diamondhead 2008 was a nice event; interesting people and materials, sharing of new ideas and improvement of old ones.  Also, it is good to renew old friendships. I missed those who couldn’t make it.  As always, Jerry did a great job! Hats off to him!”  

Why people come to Diamondhead is succinctly summed up by Jim Gabelich:  To renew old friendships, people I have meet over the years;                      Enjoy talking and being able to put a face to a person who wrote an article I found useful or enjoyed;  Its a learning experience. There were 200+ steamers there and if they had an average of just 5 years in live steam that is "1000" years worth of knowledge! Think of the possibilities;                Hopefully meet and make new friends and to encourage new people to join in on the fun; and lastly, just the good fellowship shared by all. 

Since its beginning, the official Steamup Photographer is Carol Jobusch. Complimenting her portfolio of 600 plus pictures; Steve Baker, Bob Chatham, Jim Gabelich, Mike Martin, Kevin Schindler and Jim Pitts were busy digitally covering the Steamup for Steam in the Garden and for posting to their respective websites.  Literally, hundreds of photographs and videos were made.  Over 200 photographs are posted here in Photo Gallery 30.  (note: specific credit identifying the photographer for individual photographs is available by clicking on the photo file reference).

Our annual sojourn to the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a gumbo mix of “good friends, good food and good times.”  Jerry Reshew invited us back to do it again in 2009.  No where else on earth, especially in North America, can you steam morning, noon and throughout the night, literally 24 hours a day.

Besides never ending steaming is the plus of dining with friends at the Jourdon River Steamer in Kiln, Trampani’s Eatery in Bay St. Louis, eating King Cake and drinking Community Coffee, plus the Dairy Queen and the Waffle House, combine for a wonderful time of reunion and inspiration.  

Reassured by Jerry that the G1MRA President's Cup is safely on the mantle, we say (like our friends in the UK) to all that made Diamondhead 2008 a success ….”Thank you very much, indeed!” 

Mark you calendar, come January 16-18, 2009, the good times will roll again at the 16th International Small Scale Steamup in Diamondhead, Mississippi.  For further details, go to www.diamondhead.org

Note: This Diamondhead Report by Jim Pitts and a First Impressions feature by Steve Baker, along with photos by Carol Jobusch, Jim Pitts, Kevin Schlindler, Steve Baker and Jim Gabelich was published in Steam in the Garden magazine, No. 98, Volume 18, No. 2. Ron Brown, editor.

G1MRA Diamond Jubilee Celebration, Diamondhead, MS - group photo by Carol Jobusch


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Photo Gallery 30 < page 1 > page 2  > page 3  > page 4  > page 5 >



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