In Memoriam: Hermann Roessel

In Memoriam: Hermann Roessel

February 8, 1940    –     August 6, 2021

Hermann Roessel was one of the original members of the organization, not a founding member, but original and he was original in many ways. He was stoic, opinionated, bull headed, argumentative, inventive, and open to helping whomever that needed it. He enjoyed conversing with others and passing on his knowledge of subjects that interweaved with model railroading. He was not a railfan, unless it was European, although he would be intent if you were relaying a non-European story, his focus was modeling. Scale had no boundary, he covered the gamut, all scales, all eras, he even got involved with live steam engines.

His approach to a problem was pondering, his knowledge and experience allowed him to be creative as he pondered. So, he pondered and then he pondered some more and usually his solution was to invent something, it could be logical, it could be illogical and off the wall, but for the better part his approach worked. His experience (a machinist by trade) in engineering, both mechanical and electrical provided him the knowledge necessary in building and repairing model trains. His work for the museum was tireless and even more tireless was his attentiveness for those who came through the door with childhood relics in need of repair. All were accepted without hesitation.

His desire to pass on that knowledge is reflected in the many ideas that he made a reality. He felt it necessary to teach the younger members the basics of model railroading and it has and does show in their activities around the museum.

He was born in Nuremberg, Germany, a “War Baby”, not a “Baby Boomer”, unfortunately for him, he was on the wrong end of the war in Europe. After the war he immigrated to America and then when he became of age, he became part of the army that years earlier his country was fighting.

The repair room, or office if you will, is named “Hermann’s Werkstadt” in honor of his ethos and heritage. It is where he spent the majority of his time helping others and it shall remain as such in his memory. Anyone who utilizes the area will have his influence overseeing their efforts. His presence within the museum will never be filled, as I said he was an original, the mold was broken. There is no replacing the man, nor the knowledge, nor the experience he shared, nor the spirit. He is missed by all who have met him and by those who will not have the opportunity to meet him.

New Year 2021

Tis that time of year again, a New Year, a fiscal New Year I mean. Yes, it is that time of year, time for the dues, at least for those of you who get it over with one payment. Anyway, fiscal year 2021 begins in a couple of days, just saying, I am writing this not as a cry for money, but just as a reminder. So, for those of you who might be in arrears please come current with your dues and get ready for the new year. If it had not been for the virus, we would be a few thousand richer by having our swap meets, but that didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean that if you are in arrears, that I wouldn’t be writing this, because I would. 
Speaking of money, or lack thereof. As an organization we need to tighten our financial belt, again we are not hurting, but we need to remain watchful. With that in mind, last year’s “Dollar for Dollar” program yielded a figure that helped, didn’t cover, but helped defray the cost of the A/C units, I think it would be a good idea to do it again. So, sometime during the year we will have another “D for D” program to raise money. 
Also, after we acquired the flat “Blueprint” drawers, thanks to Allen Stevens, we said we would charge a fee for the use of the drawers, but we didn’t. That action was never really instituted, but it will be for the coming year at the rate of $25.00 a drawer. A small price to pay for preventing transportation damages to your precious acquisitions! There are two members who are waived of this fee, Allen Stevens of course, who bought and shipped the drawers here and Sam Feldman. Sam is excluded as a balance for closets, bookcases, chairs, cabinets, power drill, and other sundry items provided by his parents. I rent a drawer, even though I have my own set of drawers, but they are filled with projects that remain in kit form. So, with the reality of a few hundred projects, I rent a drawer.
With the Covid situation under control, (what a difference a year makes, from denial and blatant incompetence to mass inoculations) we may open in September to the public. With more and more individuals getting inoculated I think we may be out of the virus woods and can allow visitors. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines; the thermometer is at the ready for anyone who may be questionable at the door. We normally close for the months of July and August anyway and to open sooner would be only for a few days before we shut down again, so September it is.
It was good to see Butch and Jeanie this past Saturday, I was hoping to see Hermann also, but we got half of the family. Willy did say that she would escort him next Saturday, it will be another pleasant visit, I am sure. As with all our members this past year has been an original, hopefully with the changing tide it will only be a memory shortly. So, stay safe, wear your mask, and welcome the New Year!

Take care,