TERRY M STONE
Well, home again and sitting here trying to clear up almost 100 e-mails that arrived while we were gone. And I had tipped off most of my "regulars" that I would be gone for a few days! So while up early and on the computer, I though I'd "review" this year's S Spree in Dayton.
Once again the Miami Valley S Gaugers did an excellent job of organizing and presenting the event. The dealer room was full, and there were hundreds of great people to talk to. We got to see and talk to many friends we know mostly from Internet/e-mail and I STILL didn't get to speak with everyone I wanted to! Of course while subjects were mostly S gauge, we did "solve a wide range of the world's problems." :-) I have always seen this as much as a "social event" than a train show, and an opportunity to learn or help others well beyond the Clinics. And it is even more meaningful for Cindy and I as her health problems have cut out previous travel well back.
As usual, I was overcome by that strange malady of taking home more stuff than I brought. We have had to downsize vehicles recently and hence the layouts I do will remain small and the items carried must be fewer. Careful packing is a NECESSITY now! Yet, even though I often bring a few things to sell (none this time), I always take home MORE stuff than I bring! This year was no exception as there were several affordable items in varying condition that I picked up. And also as usual with me, the under table "junk boxes" were again calling my name. A few seemed to have grown "mental tentacles" which were reaching out for me, they eventually made a capture!
All in all it was a great event, but there were a couple of glitches, though not at the Spree. I have traveled Interstate 70 many times over the years, mostly during my long involvement in auto racing, but this year the section from Columbus to Dayton was generously populated by drivers who seemed to be raging Crack addicts! The average speed for this stretch is about five miles over the posted limit, but there were those who found 80 or 90 more to their liking, though not within their driving ability. I don't usually have to revert to the way I drove Stock Cars in my younger years to stay alive on the highway! But sometimes violent "evasive action" was required, twice by semi trucks! I didn't have time to see if the drivers were cell phoning, high on something, or just inept, because staying alive was at the top of my priority list!
The other glitch was a far less exciting and happened at a Hooters near the motel. Of course the "natural beauty" was as goos as ever, but the food was not. For instance, the "Curly Fries" had the taste quality of anything you can buy from the Wal-Mart frozen section. The burgers were lame as well. Obviously you need to be well distracted by the scenery and the beer to eat there these days.
Those two things aside, the event and even the "headquarters hotel" were fine. I have been in many clubs and associations in my life, but somehow the clubs who do the S Sprees almost always get it right! Thanks folks and we'll see you at next year's Spree!
Stumpy Stone Martins Ferry, Ohio ...so far East that I'm almost the West Virginia! ;-)