Saturday, December 13, 2008

Someone has to do the cleaning ...

Keith to Jacob: "This tool is going to become your best friend!"

For hundreds of years, journeymen used mundane tasks to instill the value of work into young boys and girls. In the process, these young apprentices learned a trade. Along the way they leaned shop terminology, the difference between a mill and a lathe and how to care for their tools.

Helping is a valuable learning tool for Jacob, and thousand of boys and girls his age. I take him to the engine house about every other Saturday. He helps by cleaning shop equipment, separating the recycling and brushing rust off of 100-year-old locomotive parts.

While you could call Jake's work assignments tedious, these are jobs that must be done. It's a two-way street for Jake and the railway. The railway gets a clean shop.

Jacob is learning to attend to every detail and to complete a task on time and in a manner that pleases the boss. While it isn't pleasant listening to the boss tell you to vacuum the mill again, it pays in the end.

One day, Jake will appreciate the lessons learned here. Although he may not vocalize it, he'll express in doing a good job for him employer.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fall-winter newsletter released

The fall-winter issue of The Dispatch, the official newsletter of the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation, will be mailed to members and supporters this week.

"The newsletter adds value for our membership," said Steve Karoly, EDWRF vice-president and newsletter editor.

"The fourth issue for 2008 closes the year with important news on the recent speeder tour on the Southern Pacific Placerville Branch."

Join the effort to restore the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 today
The Dispatch is a benefit of membership in the railway foundation. To join our effort to renovate the Diamond and Caldor Railway No. 4 Shay locomotive and to build and operate an El Dorado County Logging and Railroad Museum, send $35 (check or money order) for individual membership to:

PO Box 3517
Diamond Springs, CA 95619

Family membership costs $60, corporate $100 and life membership is $500 for individual or family and $1,000 for a business. Annual membership runs from January to December.

Won't you please join our effort for the 2009 renovation season and help us celebrate the 102th anniversary of the D&C No. 4 Shay?

A Herculean task

"Chop ... chop ... chop ..."

That's all I heard Saturday morning as I drove up to the museum, a sound reminiscent of lumberjack cutting a tree down.

"We got our cardio workout getting that thing started," exclaimed Keith Berry.

Keith and Mark Bruto, the museum's hit-n-miss engine expert, started the Hercules Model E 5-horsepower engine by turning the flywheels.

How many turns did it take, I asked.

Keith turned to Mark for confirmation, "Oh, about 50!"

This is the third hit-n-miss engine that Mark and Keith have started since August. It's a pleasant distraction from the Shay locomotive, said Keith.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Annual Christmas social

Annual Christmas social, originally uploaded by SeabeeCook.
It's once again time for the annual El Dorado Western Railway Foundation Christmas social.

We decorated this the room morning and will gather this evening in the board room of the Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District at Station 49.

We have an evening of good food planned. Keith and I will recognize the volunteers and present a slide show of this year's accomplishments.

This has been a good year with the recent speeder car tour of the old Southern Pacific right-of-way and significant progress on the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive.