Monday, June 25, 2007

Scotty's big weekend

Two weeks ago Scotty attended his first model engine show--as an exhibitor! For a few years now he has been building model steam and gas engines out of his favorite building toy, K'NEX. While visiting the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, a favorite museum, on our last trip to Denver, we learned that they host an annual model engine exhibition. We contacted them and asked if Scotty could be an exhibitor and they thought it was a great idea. So the kids, my mom, and I made the drive up to Colorado Springs for the big event. We had an absolutely incredible time. We all had so much fun together and there was lots of laughter. There was great swimming in the hotel pool and a crazy time on the first night as Mom and I stayed up late to get the exhibit ready. There was some delicious food and some awful food. At the end it was a very memorable weekend and a much needed break from the farm for all of us.

It was really Scotty's moment to shine. He was so proud to be one of the exhibitors and was by far the youngest exhibitor there. There were no other child exhibitors, in fact most of them were ten times Scotty's age.

As an exhibitor he was given VIP status and wore a special button.

The weather was beautiful over the whole weekend and the museum enjoyed a good crowd both days.

Here is a view of the main exhibit hall with the big Corliss engine and some of the model engines.

Here is the exhibit on the first day. Mom and Eliza helped to make a great support team for Scotty. Mom's help was invaluable and it was a lot of fun to have her with us. Eliza was Scotty's publicist. She invited everyone she met to come see the exhibit. Scotty was pretty reluctant at first to talk to the visitors, as I expected he would be, so we had a big display that explained everything.

The kids really loved his exhibit. It was one of the few that they could touch.

The adults liked it too. Many were very impressed and happy to see such a young person interested in steam engines.

We had the exhibit set up so that it didn't have to be manned, fully expecting that Scotty wouldn't want to sit there all day. So we reveled in being there for two whole days as opposed to the hour or two at a time that we usually do on trips to Denver, and we really enjoyed all the activities and exhibits.

This fellow had several engines on a table running on compressed air. Scotty's first instinct was to try to see underneath the table to figure out how it was set up. Recognizing this, the man invited him back behind the table to check it out.

By far, Scotty's favorite exhibit was of the working Lego models. These really ran on compressed air. Scotty befriended the guy who made these, which was really neat because this fellow has 4 kids of his own but none of them are really interested in engineering. He was very impressed with Scotty's engines and he gave Scotty the plans for one of his Lego engines.

They had some big tractors and farm machinery outside.

Some larger model engines were in an annex building.

Scotty fell in love with this little tractor.

Riding the barrel train.

Exploring the larger engines in the building with the big stamp mill.

Eli hitching another ride on the barrel train. See the little thumb sticking out?

Here we are on the hayride. I had to laugh at this--it was basically a tractor pulling a trailer loaded with several bales of hay, which is something we do here at the farm fairly often just as part of our farm work. It also made me really appreciate our good fortune to be able to live the way we do.

Riding up to the head frames.

Eliza found her own thrills at the museum. Rock climbing (and jumping) was a big hit.

On the second day some of the exhibitors in the main hall had left so we moved in there. Scotty's was the first exhibit that people saw when they came through the door!

He really seemed to get into the groove more on the second day and started to feel much more comfortable talking about his engines with the museum visitors. It was such a thrill to watch him shine.

Watching the air trammer run.

They did their annual demonstration of the stamp mill while we were there! We have been to this museum many times but never got to see it run. It was pretty impressive, even though they ran it with an electric motor.


Alan said...

this is fantastic!

i loved lego as a kid (well, *still* love lego, though i've passed them on to the next generation now...), though i was never inclined to building mechanical objects. i find that kind of aptitude extremely impressive.

my favorite picture is the one near the end with scotty demonstrating the engines to the kids.

and so you're not left wondering, i'm yarrow's partner. i've been reading your blog for a couple months, though this is my first comment

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Jen. Much better than mine. Brings back all the wonderful memories of a fantastic weekend. I can't wait until next year. So glad Scotty was invited back again. And I'm so proud of him. What a change over the course of the weekend from shy boy to future captain of industry. And what a joy to see Eliza shine, too.


Danielle said...

Scotty, your exhibit totally rocks—how cool that you put all that together out of your own brain! I'm totally impressed.

All the photos look like a grand time. Glad to hear everyone had fun!

DaikiniCrossroads ~Crystal~ said...

WOW, that looked to be an amazing event.

Jenny said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Alan--thanks for posting a comment! I like to hear from people who read my blog. I agree--the photo of Scotty talking about his engines is the best. If you knew him you'd like it even more because you would know what a big step it was for him.

Christy said...

This is so awesome! It's so great that these opportunities exist for our kids to share their passions with others.