Yesterday was the first day we worked at Thomas this year. By “we” I mean myself and gf_guruilla; NSS&F was entertaining her cousins. It was evidently a sold-out day. All I can vouch for is that the museum was crowded.
My one shift was in the Middleton cars. This is an interesting collection. A majority of it was accumulated by a man named Evan Middleton. Evan used to run the Toy and Miniature Trains shop at Knotts Berry Farm in the 1950s and 1960s, before the big rides came. When he retired, he bought two ex-Rio Grande cars and turned them into a museum. So there’s lots of toy trains, toys and china from the early 1900s, family mementos, train memorabilia. This collection has been added to over the years; for example, there is one complete case of hand-built PE and LARy cars. So I was having fun looking at the collection and trying to explain it to the guests.
Today I’m a Thomas host. This consists of escorting a group of Thomas attendees onto a passenger car, serving as car attendent, then escorting them off. It is about 20 minutes of riding, 10 minutes of escorting, and 30 minutes of downtime per hour. All day. GFG is working in the bookstore, and NSS&F is working in the kids tent. The nice saving grace, as opposed to past festivals, is that we should be done a little after 5:00p-5:30p — with past festivals, I was often a car attendent for the last train back from Perris, often not getting off shift until 6:30p-7:00p.
Well, my shift starts at 7:30a, and we’re ½ away from the museum in Moreno Valley. Time to wake up the crew, repack, and head back down to Perris. If you’re in the area, come on by and say hi (if the event is sold out, I think you can still by general admissions to the museum without Thomas).