A Time for Fun

Harry Huckemeyer

Once we all get through the summer heat here in our area, we all look forward to all those wonderful opportunities that living in this area affords us. Time waits for no one, and the Short Line Model Railroad Club comes to life for its second-half agenda of their season a little faster than usual. The Short Line Model Railroad Club is rapidly moving into the second half of the 2023 season anxiously, with a heavy load and an expectation of some fun times, as there are some busy times not too far ahead. This is the time of the year when our area shines, as many of our friends are returning and, for many, it is a pleasant place to visit with all that this state has to offer and, of course, the weather, to add to the enjoyment. Whether you enjoy the crisp air off the ocean breezes or are a seasoned skier, there are opportunities within reach not too far away, and this is always a nice base to return to at this time of the year.

For starters, the Short Line Model Railroad Club will once again be participating at the 2023 Railfair that takes place annually at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park located in Scottsdale and sponsored by the City of Scottsdale annually. For those new to the area, this is a park located off Indian Bend Road and the 101, just running a little east of Scottsdale Road. It’s a must-see, especially if you have little ones around, as there is a carousel and a train that will take you on a scenic ride around the 30 or so acres of its landscape that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Admission is free, although there is a minimal charge to ride the carousel and the train. There is also a wonderful train museum there you’ll want to visit, a food court, and a number of model railroad clubs from around the Valley area who travel here to participate in the two-day event. The event is only open to the public on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

I suggest you check your local publications and calendars frequently, as many of the local communities have their Community Days spread out in October where you can meet your neighbors and friends and check out all the tables that are out on display showing the work of some local vendors, plus the many clubs where their members would be happy to talk to you. These are usually early on Saturdays but could also run into November and weekdays in some areas. Additionally, just up the road a bit off Ryan and Arizona Avenue, you will find the Arizona Train Museum. In November they will have an Open House offering free admission and parking for one day only where you can take a few moments to relive a little of the past. Some model trains will be running in a variety of areas that you can observe while having the thrill of walking through some passenger cars, sleepers, and even, if you’re lucky, meet up with the owners of privately-owned cars who would be happy to chat about their past experiences. I believe this will only be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and it typically does draw large crowds. There also will be a food court available, plus a shop where you may find something of interest from another era that might have some parts that are hard to find for those in the hobby.

As a club, we are always looking for new members who may have an interest and are willing to sacrifice a few hours a month to become an active member. We meet monthly from September through May and have workshops on a regular basis throughout the year. If you need a little more information, please don’t hesitate to send me a text on how I can reach you, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My cell phone number is 480-600-1349, or I can be reached by email at [email protected]. You all have a great day, stay safe, and, most importantly, stay healthy.