My original plan had been to invite you up to Lakewood for a party at our house in your honor on the evening of Friday, August 21, with you staying at a hotel overnight and our going to the museum bright and early the next day (at 7:30am) so I could show you the railroad museum grounds in gory detail, using this as a backdrop to develop the case for serious angel funding for this unique institution, after which I would leave you with Donald Tallman, the museum's Executive Director, for the two of you to talk as you saw fit without my being present. [Is it a run-on sentence if it makes perfect sense and is grammatically correct? Why yes, Mike, it is. The Chicago Manual of Style opens with these two sentences ... "Write simply. Use short words and short sentences."]
Regrettably things are different now. As a newly reborn Quaker I have to tell you that I've seen a lot of ethical smoke at the museum. In addition, museum management called me a liar to my face and behind my back about certain things I know, and can prove, to have been true. This caused me to announce, in an email to the individuals in question, that I would have nothing further to do with them, and that I was resigning from the Polar Express project (which really had not gotten going). This matter is separate from the ethical smoke issues.
In all fairness to the museum, while the lies are what they are, as regards ethical smoke I can honestly say that I've seen no legal fire, so how important my concerns are is a judgement call for you that only you can make. However, in making that call, I ask you to read the first five sections of this article series on my website,viewtopic.php?f=3&t=46
The first article links to the second and so on. I've been running links to the articles in Trains Magazine. Model Railroading has declined to publish similar links.
If you read the series you will learn that five days after my email in which I said that I would have nothing further to do with Tallman and Bernstein I was banned from the museum grounds completely first thing in the morning, with no warning whatsoever. In defense of my reputation I therefore had no choice but to develop and publish the article series I've asked you to read.
So ... The revised game plan is as follows ...
1 - Please come to the Lakewood party as originally planned. Wil would love to see you and so would Evalyn. If Ellen comes, so much the better though she might be at loose ends on Saturday since Evalyn works weekends (as a hospice nurse).
2 - On Saturday morning, drop in on Donald, whose office is the small building located just north of the museum building and about a hundred feet south of the Garden Railway. Have part of your conversation then but ask Donald to assign museum tour guide Ed Lichetenfels to take you around. Ed doesn't know the grounds as well as I do but he has a very interesting take on the history of narrow gauge railroading and will give you a tour different from, but just as interesting as, the one I would have given.
3 - After that drop in on Donald again and this time talk turkey. Richie wants to donate thus-and-such amount for thus-and-such purpose. If this is possible, in return he wants to be fast-tracked through the operating ranks to full steam locomotive engineer status the way School of Mines student Mark Whoever was. Blah blah blah, yada, yada, yada. I don't know what you guys would or should talk about, and now that I'm out of CRRM for good I don't want to know. I just want you to be happy.
If this plan will work for you, I suggest that you write to email@example.com
beforehand and work out your onsite schedule with him directly. He knows who you are and was expecting to sit with you at some point. You two can work it out together without my having to get involved.
Again, there is no legal fire that I know of, but the ethical smoke is more than I want my name, or the name of my good friend former music producer Tom Werman, associated with. Tom's Wikipedia page is here ...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Werman
Tom had given me unrestricted use of his name for CRRM angel funding purposes, but I have told the museum that as Tom's representative I cannot allow his name to be used in any way, shape or form. (Tom is a Jewish Quaker, I believe, as am I.) I'll be seeing Tom in early October for the first time in 51 years, not that this is relevant to anything.
Do let me know whether and how you want to proceed. If nothing else, let's have a party! (Though it's a long drive just to have a party.)