Thanks to my brother Billy, who brought some old videos to our February board meeting, I cannot help but be nostalgic as I exit my 20 th year of being an officer in the VRA. It is hard not to look back at all the years of projects we have run and fun we have had and not smile and be proud. The videos showed some of our good times up on the M&NJ clearing brush, building bridges, filling wash outs and running motorcars in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, plus an Easter Bunny train we ran from Hawthorne to Butler and back.
Those times were what laid the foundation for what we do today and who we are as an organization. They also seemed to be much simpler times and in some ways they were, but in other ways it still took a tremendous amount of effort to organize the events and carry them out. Of course we were fortunate enough to have good relationships with the management at the NYSW and M&NJ, who allowed us to use their railroads for our enjoyment and fund raising.
This past year we ran or were part of a number of very successful projects, our Easter and Santa trains, the continued work on Hawthorne station, URHS trips on the CMSL and with the Hickory Creek and NYC 43 and another year of Toys for Tots trains just to name a few. None of these projects would have happened without the VRA and its members, and we should all be very proud of what we accomplished. We have a few projects that we did not complete and it will be up to the new board and our members to finish. The ones that come to mind are the engine replacement in our A5 brush car and the completion of the paint job on our L&NE 40B. Please watch the Yahoo Group, Facebook and web site postings of dates and come out and help.
I want to thank you all for being part of the VRA and for all you have ever done to help make the VRA a success. Without you we can never succeed or have as much fun as we have. See you at our next project.