The 2017 officers of the Akron Railroad club are (from left) Jim Mastromatteo, secretary; Craig Sanders (seated in front), president; Paul Havasi, treasurer; Marty Surdyk, editor; and J. Gary Dillon, vice president.
I didn’t think that the Akron Railroad Club officer’s meeting held last Sunday would last all that long.
Sure, we had a long list of items to discuss, but most them involved merely finalizing the dates for activities that we’ve had before.
We decided on the following activities and dates: Member’s night and pizza party (Feb. 25), Dave McKay Day in Berea (April 1), longest day in Bellevue (June 25), summer picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton (July 30), outing in Vermilion (Aug. 26), and the end of year dinner (Dec. 2).
The member’s night was set for a Saturday in February because of schedule conflicts at the church. The social hall is not available on the fourth Friday night of February due to a church activity.
We could meet on Feb. 17, but the social hall isn’t available on that night, either, because it will have been set up for the annual spaghetti supper that the church is having the next day. We would have to meet in a Sunday School classroom.
But we could have the social hall in the evening on Saturday, Feb. 25 if we wanted it. The officers elected to take that offer.
Last summer the club did well financially in having a silent auction of books from the collection of the late William Surdyk.
At the time, someone suggested we have a similar event for members wishing to unload railroad-related artifacts and memorabilia.
We liked that idea and quickly settled on having it at our July meeting.
However, working out the details proved time-consuming as we discussed rules and issues surrounding an activity the club has never sponsored before.
Those ground rules and guidelines are still being worked out and will be shared with the membership at a later date. But the event has a name: Roundhouse Rubble Auction.
But in essence, you will need to give Marty Surdyk by the May meeting a list of items you wish to sell.
Sellers have the option of setting a minimum bid – known as a reserve price – on their item.
Unless specified otherwise, items placed for sale will become property of the Akron Railroad Club if not sold at the silent auction and be offered for sale at train shows at which the ARRC has a table.
However, sellers have the right to specify that they want to take back their item(s) that do not sell during the auction.
The officers also discussed having a steam-themed event in September.
If the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 back, we will replicate the picnic that we had in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the last day that the 765 operated in September 2016. It was one of our best-attended events of the year.
But we also discussed two other potential club outings. We’ve learned that a working steam locomotive might enter tourist train service this year on a short line near Buffalo, New York.
If it operates as we suspect it will, out of Eden, New York, we will look into chartering a bus and traveling to see that locomotive as well as the nearby Arcade & Attica steam train.
The other possibility involves reviving the overnight outing with a destination of Cumberland, Maryland, to see Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 in operation.
We expect to wrap up 2017 with the fifth annual end of year dinner at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow. Mark Demaline has agreed to do the program.
Mark is the newest member of the ARRC and a retired railroad executive who worked for CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie.
He is also an accomplished railroad photographer who presented a program to the ARRC a few years ago about railroads in Montana.