The Vancouver Train Expo filled the PNE Forum this past weekend. Unlike last year, I’d actually coordinated with Doug Hicks to have a time when I was supposed to be helping at the Craftsman’s Corner. He usually likes to have two-hour slots, but I find that is barely enough time to get my tools out and get organized. So, I asked for two slots back-to-back, and that was about perfect.
Not only am I patting myself on the back for having contacted Doug ahead of time, but also new for this year, I made a list of steps I would aim to complete at the show, along with the tools required for those steps. It was relatively simple: I thought I might be able to complete the flatcars’ decks. However, there were a couple of ideas like leaving the last board off on the B end in case it needs to be notched, that I surely would have forgotten in the heat of the moment had they not been written down. It was also the first time I have ever shown up for a demonstration with all the tools and materials required.
Applying one board at a time turns out to be the perfect job for demonstration modelling. Sometimes I would look up to find an audience of three or more children and their parents, their mouths all agape in wonder, as I picked up each stick and dabbed it with glue before placing it. That this should be fascinating to anyone is truly a mystery. Yet, some of these kids, who should have been bouncing off the walls with youthful energy stood watching me for a quarter hour before their parents dragged them away to the age-appropriate displays of Mini Rail and the Lego.
It’s repetitive work, which means the probability of error is quite low, even with frequent interruption. In previous demonstrations, I’ve often undone as much as I’ve done because I’ve made some mistake while answering questions. Not so this time: I think those boards will not need to come off again.
Four hours later, John Green came to relieve me with his snowshed. I had finished the three decks with about ten minutes to spare and had some delightful conversations with modellers young, old, beginner and experienced. It was a great day.