Friday, September 10, 2010

Why do we do this?

Several weeks ago I began a short series that explorers why the volunteers of the El Dorado Western Railway do what we do. Railway President Keith Berry's originally wrote the series for the summer newsletter.

Each week 16 or more volunteers gather at the engine house to work on various projects. While most volunteers contribute mechanical skills to the railway, a shall team of "office" workers handle administrative tasks.

Unlike past years when most work was accomplished on Saturday, our volunteer pool has developed into a diverse group of weekday (mostly Wednesday and Friday) and Saturday workers. The weekday team largely consists of retirees and those available mid-week. Those still working a 40-hour week help out of projects on Saturdays.

Here's the second installment of Keith' assessment:

REASON #2: We all have some inherent train gene in us, attracting us to train things rather than old clothes, furniture or farm equipment, which we refer to as real rust. Trains reach out to us; trains are special, uniquely attractive without reason through our lives. Trains talk to us; they come alive much as the trains once under the Christmas tree came alive in our hands. It's sentimental to work on these trains, they all are unique, come with a personality and deserve their place by being refurbished. So, we await work day's to once again meet and "play with trains."

REASON #3: We enjoy the challenge. Refurbishing this stuff is not easy. It's really a lot of hard work and periodic frustration. Train parts are heavy, sometimes hot and always hard to handle. Regardless of the technical challenge, or the logistical problems, we enjoy finishing something. Years ago, we adopted the motto "One piece at a time, she goes back together again." We needed this motto given the fourteen years of effort just on Diamond and Caldor No. 4. You have to be patient, and find success in every part or you go nuts looking for the nuts (or the bolts, or the pipes, etc.).

1 comment:

Haddock said...

I think its pure passion.