A Great Saturday

Yesterday my friend Ron Findley and I attended the annual banquet of the Mississippi Great Southern Chapter of the NRHS.  The banquet was in Hattiesburg, MS just a few blocks from the Amtrak depot (former Southern Railroad depot).  Hattiesburg enjoys rail service from the Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and the Kansas City Southern railroads, and has a nice railroad heritage.

As usual, the event was excellent, with a really nice crowd of folks.  There were a few exhibits and several model railroad vendors peddling their wares.  Present was Tony Howe with a nice selection of his art prints (the piece at the top of this blog is by him), and as usual, I couldn’t resist picking up yet another print.

Also as usual, the lunch was tasty and plentiful; barbeque chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad and rolls, all chased down by sweet iced tea and dessert – a typical Southern dinner.  I saw and visited with a number of friends, and also a few that I only see annually (special surprise, Mike Palmieri was there…I hadn’t seen him for several years edit: 7 years).  It is splendid seeing friends at these get-togethers!

The real treat after lunch was the presentation by the special guest, Wick Moorman, the chairman and CEO of the Norfolk Southern Railroad.  He gave a brief bio of his career, then spoke about the Heritage Locomotive program, the new Steam program and a bit about the PTC system that NS and the other railroads are in the process of building.  He then opened himself up to a nice question and answer session.  It was all very interesting.  Wick’s speaking was laid back and entertaining, and he has a nice sense of humor.  He is somewhat of a railfan and in one of his side-line anecdotes, he spoke of the time when he got to handle the throttle of the ex-Nickel Plate 765 while traversing the Horseshoe Curve.  His words, “How cool is that?“.

I’m already looking forward to next years banquet.

And this Saturday coming we’ll be attending the banquet of the Southeastern Louisiana Chapter of the NRHS.  Man, just can’t get enough of this stuff!

-Jack

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