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The LCCA 50th Anniversary Convention in Omaha has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 Virus. 
 See you in Scranton in July 2021 (#LCCA50+1)

The year is 2020, and as I write this article I can’t help think back to the year of our club’s birth, 1970.  Only months earlier I had moved from the Houston area to the Dallas area to take on a new job at Texas Instruments. Looking back now, I see that 1970 was a year of memories and accomplishments, some of which I enjoyed and others not so much.

The US President was Richard Nixon and Boeing had just inaugurated its first commercial jumbo jet, the 747, on a flight from New York to London. Apollo 13 was launched and experienced trouble shortly into the flight and the familiar phrase, “Houston, we have a problem” was coined after an oxygen tank exploded. In the entertainment field, The Beetles disbanded and on Wall Street, the Dow Jones was at 838 points. A new house cost $23,400 while monthly rent was averaging $140. An AMC Gremlin cost $1,879 and filing the tank ran $.36/gal. US Postage stamps were $.06 for first class, apples were 4 pounds for $.59 and your dog was eating their canned food that cost 12 cans for a $1.00. The trendy Lava Lamp retailed at $19.95 and your back to college typewriter was a whopping $28.88. The toys ran from $4.77 for a Barbie doll, to various priced Lionel trains.  During the year the new Lionel plant in Mount Clemens, Michigan opens for business and Lionel purchases the American Flyer name and tooling and resurrects the "S" gauge brand under the General Mills toy group "Fundimensions".  The Lionel president in 1970 was Ronald Saypol and the first LCCA president was Vance Stockdale. Now all this brings us to July, 2020 and the LCCA convention in Omaha, NE.

If you were around in 1970 and remember some of those events, then make plans to be at the Omaha Hilton, July 19 - 25 for the 50th annual convention of the Best Toy Train Club on the Planet and reminisce with all the other “old timers”.   I can only imagine all the stories that will be shared and lies told. We will have a great time, as usual. There will be some outstanding tours that are being designed for making memories as well as delicious food and fun activities that will make this another wonderful vacation for the family.  Dienzel’s column on the tours he’s putting together follows this one and explains all the details. Omaha is not the capital of Nebraska, but certainly the most well-known city what with its famous steaks, zoo and Father Flannigan’s Boys Town. So hitch up your wagon, throw your family in the back and make plans to ramble on over to Omaha this July for a relaxing visit to a real, modern, mid-west city. If you haven’t been to a LCCA convention in a while, or never attended one, then this is one you will certainly want to make.  There will be home layouts to see and take pictures of, and in the Hotel Lobby one not usually available to the general public.  In addition there will be tables of Lionel and American flyer items for sale, parts for repairing your trains and no telling what else may appear in our trading hall on Friday night and Saturday. Just bring your list of wants, some money and get fix’n to have a good old fashion trading time. Now, how much easier can that be?

Both the Hilton reservation form and the LCCA annual convention registration form will be in the February TLR and once released, also on the website. Fill them out, turn them in and be ready for a week of food, fun and memories.  And don’t say you didn’t know.  There will be absolutely NO excuses!  As they used to say pre-70, “Be there or be square”.  

See You in Omaha!

Bob Carter
LCCA Convention Manager