This past weekend it was show time at Kingston's 24th annual Rail O Rama. I was staffing the Trackside with VIA table. (No sir, I do not work for VIA). Sales of my VIA Rail books were very successful, both to dealers and interested individuals. I was able to answer questions about my books, provide some information about VIA and Kingston's rail scene, and generally talk trains all day for two days in a row! What this humble scribe would describe as a pretty good gig! Some interesting folks and customers stopped by:
Jakob Mueller - the reason these books happened. Jakob was keen to learn about my early-VIA era observations for analysis. It was great to finally meet Jakob and talk about VIA's past and future. The word 'contributor' does not do Jakob justice. He is an uberVIAphile.
Kevin Ingraham - Binghamton NY resident, former fireman and Ranger, and knowledgeable student and modeller of the Canadian rail scene. We agreed that Tim Hortons rules!
Tom Greenlaw - father of fellow VIA book author Christopher Greenlaw. We talked about that day in Portage la Prairie when father and under-the-weather sons photographed VIA's borrowed Amtrak Superliners.
Lesley Bernard - owner of ex-VIA E-series sleeper Equity located on Highway 7 in Actinolite. Only person I've ever met who owns a personal sleeping car, and has a cool dad named Julian.
Hughes Bonin - RMC professor and long-time Kingston rail enthusiast. Turbo photo in Chris Greenlaw's book.
Liz Reid - Tim Reid's mom, bravely celebrating Tim's photographic and VIA-riding interests, sharing his photography with others. Tim also had a photo featured in Chris' book.
Paul Hunter - Kingston rail enthusiast and CN modeller. Table full of beautifully-detailed and operating locomotives.
Dave Cool - from Canadian Express Line in Brighton. Stocking and selling my VIA books and a ton of modelling products.
George Clooney and Stacy Keebler popped in looking fabulous as usual. Frankly, I just added that one to see if you were paying attention.
Many other rail enthusiasts and former railroaders in attendance, from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and points in between. Various levels of knowledge and interest, but all welcome at the show and great to talk to. While I have no plans at present to attend other shows, the last two years at the Rail O Rama have been most enjoyable. Thanks to all for your purchases and our shared interests!