PHOTO GALLERY 30 - page 2
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Diamondhead – First Impressions - by Steve Baker
Bigger than life, yet twice as natural – a good way to start when describing the Diamondhead International Small Scale Steamup. Having gone for the first time, the Event was much more than I expected, based on the photos and articles I had read. Jerry Reshew has an event that runs smoother than an Aster locomotive, pulls together stronger than an Accucraft Shay, and does a wonderful job of promoting the brotherhood (yes, and sisterhood too) of small scale steaming.
The registration table schedule showed me that I had to wait a few hours before getting my badge and other materials. The sign said (and I paraphrase), "All times are on Mississippi Time" – which, I found out, was not referring to the Central Time Zone. A good reminder to me that this was an event to enjoy, and to relax. Every event happened, usually around the right (clock) time, but with a bit of "come on, slow down, savor what is happening", and don't be so rushed.
I brought my Mom, who knows as much about steam engines as I do about sewing machines – she watched prototype steam engines and rode behind them, just as I watched her making clothes for us kids with her sewing machine. She had a great time, watching the engineers steam up their locomotives and run for their allotted time. She spent some time at the "Snooty Ladies Table (No Trains Allowed)" – but they certainly were not snooty, but very friendly and welcoming. She read by the pool, and watched the steam powered boats cruising. And we had many wonderful meals, both at the Resort restaurant, and other local eateries.
There was an incredible variety of motive power, running almost 24 hours a day. As I mentioned, the steam boats were gorgeous, as were the locomotives. I could not imagine the variety seen, as displayed in various magazine articles and advertisements. The biggest was a 1:32 scale Big Boy, which took a large can of butane for fuel, and a couple of quarts of water (the prototype held 36,000 gallons of water in its boiler). The smallest I saw was an N scale live steamer, which ran smoothly and often.
The event was truly a 3 ring circus, with 3 tracks available, and occupied every minute I was there. Just as a well run circus looks chaotic, but is timed to the second, the tracks were scheduled, and everyone did their part to be on time. Folks borrowed rolling stock, advice was freely given (and much more valuable than the price !), and compliments given for sharing of eye candy. One comment regarding whistles – keep blowing them, it may have been your only Christmas present !
I loaded a CD with high resolution photographs – this will keep me looking back, and remembering a wonderful time for a whole year. Yes, I will be back again in 2009. I hope you will have a chance to be there too. You never know what you got 'til it's gone. Oh, and I plan to put down my camera, and bring something that moves on steam.
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