30 June 2010
Meanwhile the preparations continue for our July 10 speeder event, with Jack and Don wielding the weedwhackers, Brian and Aaron concentrating on trim and finishing touches in the hallway, and Barb doing general cleanup. Brian is starting to set up the Company Store, and displays in the freight room will be rearranged. So much to do--always. Still hoping for a few more volunteers, but glad that Webb French and sons and Dave Brady have stepped forward as our latest recruits. One new item for speeder days is the uncovering of the caboose so we can have it available for visitors. We also have the Idaho State Historical Society wanting a tour of things the day before Potlatch Days. And did we mention that W&I Railway President Stan Patterson has pledged the arrival of the SP "Black Widow" just in time for speeders? Oh and the Hog Heaven Big Band will be belting out tunes on speeder day too. This band is top notch, so bring your dancin' shoes on July 10.
29 June 2010
24 June 2010
23 June 2010
Now we turn our attention to the Annual Speeder Event, scheduled for July 10 at the Depot.
7th Annual WI&M Ry HPG History Days
Potlatch Depot Saturday July 10
Speeder Rides, Music and Food 9 am - 4 pm
Jim West has been busy lining up music for the day and has the HOG HEAVEN BIG BAND as part of the action at the Benx boxcar stage. Jim has also secured a promise from W&I Railway President Stan Patterson that the Southern Pacific "Black Widow" F-Unit (Pictured above with Don Somers and Stan Patterson on the loading platform) will be on display. This is great news for railroad buffs. Blackbird Station at the Depot will also be open, as will the evolving museum in the freight room. With Don Somers currently riding the train back from the Milwaukee Road Historical Association's annual meeting, the team will be ready to go for the upcoming preparations and festivities. HPG Director Tom Burg coordinated the MR event, but will unfortunately not be here for speeder days this year. Tom has been generously sharing WI&M artifacts and memorabilia with us lately in preparation for the new museum, and we appreciate that. Tom, we will miss you on the loading dock this year!
One last piece of info. I am meeting with Ted Runberg at the Depot today, because he is curious to see how it looks. Seems Ted grew up in Potlatch, worked at the Depot unloading cars for Stapleton Motors in the old days, and now resides in Priest River where he is active in civic affairs. I met Ted when I went to Spokane last fall to accept an award for Jack from the Inland Northwest Partners, compliments of Paul Kimmell of Avista. Paul has been a Depot backer from the start and chose to honor Jack for his early work in getting Depot restoration in gear.
20 June 2010
16 June 2010
13 June 2010
Giving credit where credit is due, here's a review of the team that has brought us to this point: Jim West, project manager, has been in Potlatch nearly every weekend, putting up sheetrock, hammering, measuring, doing everything but enjoying weekends at home with his family. Sometimes he brought his family, including wife Becca, daughters Tori and Delaney, brother Mike West, and sister-in-law Barb West. Then there's HPG vice-president Brian Magelky, who has driven out from Moscow nearly every weekday and most Saturdays, as well, sometimes bringing son Aaron, a proud HPG member. Brian is a skilled cabinetmaker so tackling the uneven and rough construction in the depot has taxed his patience at times, but he's been a steady and appreciated presence. Then there's past HPG president and current treasurer Don Somers who has been on the ladders, patching holes and improving the walls, and doing whatever else has been necessary. That contribution is huge. Current HPG president Jack Coyner faithfully tended to insulation chores on the second floor, sacrificing a pair of glasses in the whole effort. He's ridden herd on electricians and plumbers, coordinated efforts with volunteers and tenants, and covered a variety of other construction chores not exactly in his line of expertise. This group of volunteers has been the backbone of getting things done. Additionally, Karen Rohn, Julie Kerr and Mike Bryngelson have thrown in countless hours of sweat equity on behalf of Blackbird Station. In a nutshell, we defied the experts who said we needed a half million dollars to get things shaped up in the interiors. The monies left over from the 2007 redo paid for electricity and plumbing, insulation, phone service, and all kinds of building materials and fixtures. We're not done yet, but this week Blackbird Station can finally move into new quarters. We wish this venture every success! And thank you for bearing with us as the HPG steps into uncharted waters as landlords. Volunteers in this case probably never thought this would be one of the duties!