15th Annual Reunion a Big Success!
by Deane Mellander
photos by the author
Originally published in the
Timber Transfer, Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 1997
Almost 200 FEBT members signed in for FEBT's 15th Reunion, held in conjunction with the EBT's annual Fall Spectacular. Outstanding weather and a couple of new features added to the success of the event.
The weekend got off to a rousing start with the operation of a special FEBT charter train. Pulled by No. 15 (in deference to the occasion) the trip made its way to Colgate Grove and back with about 60 members riding. The convention committee is looking towards having a special FEBT train as a regular feature of future Reunions.
As usual, the convention headquarters was the Orbisonia Lion's Hall. Things got started bright and early on Saturday morning. A number of vendors, as well as the Company Store, were setup for business. New products were featured by BTS in Sn3 and Les Walker displayed his new HO Orbisonia depot kit.
Also featured this year was the modular On3 railroad by Dennis McCoy, Bob Beebe, and friends. With the fine cooperation of the Orbisonia Fire Department, their truck bays were used to display the modules during the weekend. Thankfully, it didn't rain!
For the first time, FEBT set up an information tent to provide information on FEBT and its mission and goals. We were set up right near the entrance to the main parking lot, and got a lot of inquiries (plus some new members) as a result.
Train operations throughout the weekend appeared to go off without a hitch. All four operable locomotives were put through their paces. Saturday included the annual whistle salute to the past and present employees of the EBT.
With GM Stanley Hall at the controls, Joe and son Nathan Kocalchick were hoisted up uin the bucket of the front end loader to direct the salute.
Dinner for FEBT registrants was again served in two seatings to accommodate the crowd. The folks at the Orby firehouse did their usual good job, serving up turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, noodles, veggies, gravy and other goodies. Our annual "Pass the Hat" netted several hundred dollars to buy tickets for our New Riders Program.
Due to demand, the night train on Saturday was again operated in two sections. Many FEBT folks took advantage of this popular feature of the Fall Spectauculars.
The evening was given over to a benefit auction at the Lion's Hall. A sizeable number of donated items were put on the block, with Gary Altschuler doing the auctioning. There was some spirited bidding, and the net result was a total of $885.00 for the restoration Fund.
Sunday saw a number of folks assemble at the Robertsdale depot for coffee and donuts. Members were able to inspect the restoration work thus far completed in the Old Post Office, which was very near completion. George Cook then led a driving tour of the McKelvey Bros. lumber railroad traces. Others took a walking tour of the mine remains at Robertsdale and also the Broad Top Area Coal Miner's Museusm display
Good weather and a great turnout made for an excellent weekend. Thanks to to the following folks who helped make it all work: Hank Inman, Bob Wolney, Ruth Kosowski, the Baileys, Gary Altschuler, Mike Kandolf, Deane Mellander, Vagel and Debbie Keller, Dennis McCoy and crew and others who helped pitch in. Hope to see even more of you next year.
1997 Reunion Contest Winners
There was an excellent array of entries in this year's FEBT model and photo contest. There were 37 entries by 20 different entrants. all entrants are to be congratulated for their fine work. We hope to see more of the same at the next Reunion.
|Best in Show||
|HO Orbisonia Depot diorama – Robert Bowden|
1st HOn3 M-1 – Bob Wolny
2nd G Scale M-1 – Jeff Damerst
1st On3 Combine – Robert King
2nd HOn3 Combine 14 – Craig Williams
1st On3 Dolly Varden Car – William Grow
2nd On3 Hoppers – #'s 890 & 1000 – Robert King
3rd G Scale flat car #95 – Kevin Strong
1st HO Mt. Union Yard Office – David Bucher
2nd O Kimmel Passenger Shelter – deane Mellander
3rd HO Shirleysburg Depot – Robert Bowden
1st HO Orbisonia Depot – Robert Bowden
2nd HO Aughwick Mills Bridges – David Bucher
2nd HO Robertsdale Truck Dump Tipple – Ron Pearson
|Photos – Color|
1st “#17 at the Ash Pit” – Jim Garts
2nd “Orbisonia Depot at Twilight” – John Manning
3rd “Which Way to Go?” – Kevin Strong
|Photos – Black & White|
1st “Local Freight from Robertsdale” – Bill Melville
2nd “Depot” – Jim Garts 3rd “Timeless Vision” – Kevin Strong