I Forgot ... Fwd: Volunteer Ideas

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Mike McCarthy
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I Forgot ... Fwd: Volunteer Ideas

Postby Mike McCarthy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:08 am


To: rickbernstein@fehuproductions.com

Rick, not Ruck, sorry 'bout that. Now ...

Another candidate for volunteer ombudsman might be Marty Prater, who also knows a lot about trains through his deep involvement with HO. My only reservations would be that a) I've never seen Marty in the Library, and b) the gift shop people seem just as convinced that they walk on water (because they handle the money) as do the locomotive people. His being married to Bonnie does not change that.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Volunteer Ideas
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2015 05:07:56 -0600
From: Mike McCarthy <mike@impactphotoart.com>
To: rickbernstein@fehuproductions.com

Yo Ruck ...

The Mutiny at the Roundhouse got me to thinking during the night ...

In a perfect world, as volunteer coordinator you would have a junior
volunteer coordinator reporting to you. In a perfect world this person
would be a volunteer himself or herself, someone just like ... drum roll
please ... Alan Garden Railways who sits on the board. (I forget his
last name, shame on me.)

I'm only half joking when I say he would be ideal. Apart from the facg
that he would not have the time (I don't think) the reason he would be
ideal is that Alan commands enormous respect not only from the board but
also from the volunteer community. He knows trains, he's come up
through the steamup operating ranks, he knows what it's like to be a
volunteer from a museum subculture that isn't highly regarded at the
roundhouse, blah blah blah.


Enough about that. Now, where to get some immediate experienced
manpower to work on Thomas car creation with energy and enthusiasm?
Well, six years ago a contingent of volunteers came up from the Springs
who were associated with a trolley museum or whatever. They brought
with them the pile driver you may have heard about -- and they spent the
better part of ten days up here working on that machine and getting it
going. Maybe that same team could be persuaded to pitch in here at CRRM
just for old time's sake.

Ditto for people from Wings over the Rockies. I don't know anyone there
but it's a museum I love to go to every few years just to see what's new
and to gas with some of the people who work there, since I'm as aviation
minded as they are. (I don't know a lot about trains but you can ask me
anything about aviation.) Maybe they could be persuaded to help out as
one transportation equipment museum to another.


I also have to tell you that Lauren created a lot of animosity six years
ago when she named me volunteer of the year simply because I had rolled
up a lot of hours. (More than 750 in 3-4 months.) I had no idea the
award was coming to me, and if I had learned of it I would have refused
it. As it was I almost refused it at the volunteer dinner but decided
it was better not to create a scene. I think this may have had
something to do with her no longer being taken seriously by the volunteers.

I was absolutely the wrong choice ... because I knew then and know today
very little about trains compared to most of the heavy duty volunteers
at the roundhouse and at the garden railway. I did some but not a lot
of hands on stuff at the roundhouse. I did not pay the right kind of
dues, and I was seen by most volunteers at the roundhouse and elsewhere
as completely irrelevant. What on earth does photography have to do
with either fixing trains or running them? (Answer, zero in the eyes of

My message is that in a perfect world the CRRM volunteers would have an
ombudsman/woman who could come to you and speak for the entire volunteer
community whether formally or informally. They can and do speak to Jack
Campbell, and to a lesser extent they speak to Mike Spera (I keep
messing his name up, I hope I have it right now), but powerful as those
guys are, they are not in charge of the volunteers, you are.

Just some thoughts
As dawn breaks
On another beautiful day
In America,
In Colorado,
And at CRRM,

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