When I found out where the Layout Tour was going to be in March I was excited! Rick Luther has earned his Golden Spike and I know is interested in earning other certificates in the AP Program to eventually earn his MMR. I know he does good work and l was really looking forward to seeing more of it in person! I knew he had a blog so I looked it up and watched his YouTube videos. My first thought was that he probably has, or is close to completing, his Civil and Engineering AP Certificates. I sent him an email and we talked about it at the next Division Event. Yes, he is really close and didn’t even realize it until I emailed him! Then when talking later realized because of his blog, videos, clinics and other efforts, he is also close to his Author Certificate!
How many of you are in the same boat: You have done a lot of work and don’t even realize you might have earned a particular certificate, or are extremely close? Maybe all you need to do is the paperwork or some small item. When I was visiting the layout of Jim Harper, MMR in the St George area, he said someone told him that he was doing all that work so he thought he might as well get credit for it! Even if you don’t “seek the credit” for your work, I have found it helpful to share what I am doing. I have one webpage that has over 15,000 views with people from all over the world thanking me because it helped them with something they were working on.
I know a lot of you are not interested in the AP Program but was surprised when I was talking to a friend that said he didn’t even bother to read my monthly article! I don’t write it every month to try to “sell” you on it! Most of the time I even have to try hard to tie the AP into what my thoughts are that month! Often I feel I just ramble on but hopefully have some type of thought to convey that might be of use or interest to you. This month it is about the AP and how even though you might not be “going for it” you might actually be close to “achieving it” anyway!!!
The real beauty of this hobby is that there are so many aspects to it! The AP Program is meant to expand what you are interested in and grow your skills at the same time. You may not achieve what you would consider to be a master locomotive builder but you can still earn the Master Builder – Motive Power Certificate. In doing so you might find a new skill and really like it. You may also figure out you don’t like it all that much but you would be able to say “been there, done that” if you do get it 🙂
That brings me back to Rick’s layout. The room is 10’ x 19’ with around the walls running, double deck with a helix connecting the decks. The swing gates were pretty cool too. The scenes that were finished were awesome and plenty of unfinished areas to provide lots of fun yet to come! He has a unique system for operating and an area I called a “mini-mole” – I’m not sure what he officially calls it 🙂 It’s not a huge layout but based on his chosen prototype it fits perfect in his space and provides a lot of fun! I love seeing the large layouts but smaller ones like Rick’s are something more of us can actually achieve. It inspires me of what I can do! When he has his first official operating session I want to be there!
I’m sure there are more layouts in our Division that are not complete but able to run trains. We can learn from them and be inspired from them, which by the way is what the AP is also about. “Did you see what I did there?” – A movie quote my son likes. Contact Pete or anyone in the Division leadership if you might be ready to share your layout. Getting to know each other a little better and sharing our talents is important. By letting your peers into your home to see your own personal layout might be intimidating but it is truly the best way we can enjoy the journey together.