Sunday, August 19, 2012

This was pretty much a down day for me. I spent the morning making tons of phone calls, trying to keep my personal, work and Boy Scouting lives aloft. I stopped at Wal-mart for mailing supplies which I then used to box up the many items I had been given on the trip. Next, I stopped at the post office and sent these items home. Finally, I made several confidential stops to take care of various ARR related things.

In the late afternoon I headed to Wasilla to check on the progress of #557 as I was already having withdrawal symptoms. As I entered the building I ran into my old friend Art Chase. He and his camping trailer had arrived right after the delivery of #557. He put his camping trailer inside the building and slept there at night thus providing security for the locomotive until an overhead door was installed. Art led me around the locomotive and eagerly showed me the removal work they had accomplished. One of the first items to receive attention was the bell and bell stand as they would be used for promotional purposes. As each item was removed, it was numbered, logged and stored. An ever growing list of needed tools and equipment was being kept in addition to a corresponding list of potential donors.

I watched Robert Frazen as he made various assessments of the various parts of the locomotive for refurbishment effort. The work was definitely gritty and cramped, but everyone worked with an obvious zeal. As the sun began to set, everyone headed to Jeff DeBroeck's house where his wife Leann had prepared a scrumptious home cooked meal. The Pièce de résistance was ice cream served with homemade blueberry pie.

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