Perfect weather, great use of the new platform, and an experienced group of volunteers made the latest speeder event one of the best ever! There was good music on the Bennett Boxcar Stage, a model railroad in the freight room, and an enthusiastic group of riders on the loading dock all day, as HPG President Kenny Cada, Dave Cada, new HPG Secretary Pam Buckley and Elaine Johnson kept the “Depot Dawgs” selling at a steady clip. What a nice day to enjoy the depot, the music and the good company, not to mention a speeder ride to either Kennedy Ford or Princeton! It is impossible to credit all the volunteers who made it happen: people such as Roger Farrell and Hal Vandevord who come back each year to manage passengers and speeder loading; Bob Behal, and Mike and Barb West who assist Jim West in prep and setup; Don Somers, the experienced event manager who is now retiring; Kenny Cada and US Bank employees, who manage pre-sale tickets; Brian Magelky and son Aaron, stalwarts in the flagging brigade; board member Dave Zuhn, who travels all the way to Potlatch from his home in Minnesota; and the list goes on! Thanks too to Mayor Dave Brown and wife Grace who stayed the whole day (credit Dave with helping out on the Depot Project all along, and City Councilman Dave Cada also contributing lots of time and support!). Karen Rohn, the new HPG Vice-President, said sales in her depot shop, Blackbird, were solid all day, proving that the depot has a solid place in Potlatch’s downtown.
Local singer Laurie Heustis kicked off the music in the boxcar (pictured above). Several other area musicians also performed, including headliner Wanigan, the ever-popular Junior Jammers, and HPG founder Jim West’s group, the Two Dollar Bills, featuring Bill Tenney, Rebecca West, Jim West, and Paul Anders (pictured below). Jon Wight added his mellow voice to the mix as the final act of the day (Jon played despite nursing a set of sore ribs after taking a fall).
The F-9 locomotive was showcased as an added attraction with all sort of kids, young and old, scrambling aboard to pretend they were at the throttle.
Judy Meyer, 1st District Trustee for the Idaho State Historical Society, came to ride a speeder with husband Steve (pictured in the F-9 cab below). Based in Coeur d’Alene, Judy has been a steady supporter of the Depot Project.
Managing the ticket sales were the now retired HPG Treasurer Don Somers, and the new HPG Treasurer, Barb West (pictured below).
Meanwhile, in the freight room, the Lewiston model railroad group kept people entertained with the club’s traveling model railroad layout, and the Latah County Historical Society contributed the nice WI&M Railway exhibit.
Next door, the Potlatch Historical Society showed off its new museum quarters in the basement of City Hall. A steady stream of visitors came through, with Coeur d’Alene visitors Laurie and Karen commenting that they never knew about Potlatch and found it a great little place to visit!
The little caboose was a work in progress, with visitors gaining an understanding of what it takes to restore a vintage car. The X-5 worked for both the BNP and the WI&M in its day.
Potlatch enjoyed another successful visit from the speeders, thanks to their generosity and the work of countless volunteers. Thanks, everyone, for a fun day!