Moose Valley

Operating Session March 25th 2006

Not Just an operating session, but a celebration!

The end of one era, and the beginning of another.

Life.  It's what happens to everyone, everyday.  Our hobbies and passions intertwined with the day to day living which constitutes our existence.  Most web sites like this one show only a very small part of a greater whole, for to encompass everything would be not only boring, but too much like the life of the reader.  And so it is, that the Moose Valley has been since it's inception, a railroad that computers built.  My career in Information Systems dawned in 1981, and provided me with a paycheck that provided me sustenance, and which in turn provided Athearn, Atlas, Kato, Stewart, Life Like, and the myriad of other companies a small portion of my disposable income.  While the Moose Valley dawned with another employer, it was Thomson Consumer Electronics, Thomson Multimedia, and later just Thomson that nourished and nurtured the Moose Valley for 10 years.  From July of 1995 to March 9th, 2006 I called Thomson home.  Living in the hallowed halls of the once great Radio Corporation of America, the experience at Thomson was like no other I had or would likely ever have again.  While the French owned company toyed with the remnants of RCA, strewn to the four winds by GE mogal Jack Welch, we at Thomson's North American Tube Division headquarters in Lancaster, PA continued on as if we were RCA.  Indeed, we WERE RCA.  A facility which once employed 6000, had but a little over 300 by the time I got there.  The years leading up to 9-11 were good to Thomson people, but after 2001 the slow and steady decline into oblivion had begun.  The Moose Valley became one of my more important stress relievers as I tried to cope with the writing which was on the wall at work each day.  Thomson's ongoing stupidity in not marketing the color picture tubes which we designed and produced, and instead standing idly by as flat screen display types captured the public's attention with their high dollar price tags, and under performing image technologies drew the noose tighter around our necks, as we were set up to fail in our efforts to cut costs and increase competitiveness.  Ultimately Thomson's exit from the cathode ray tube business would mark not only the end of that technology, but the end of what was really the heart of RCA.  All remaining 60 or so employees were released from service to the company on March 9th, 2006 in alphabetical order, and yes I was the first one out the door.  Every 10 minutes another piece of RCA history would walk out the door into an uncertain future.  I hung around to console the next few out the door.  Bob Alexander, who was 2nd out,  told me that he had been at the company for over 40 years.  It was the only job he ever knew.  I on the other hand, was secure in the knowledge that in two weeks I would begin my new job.  My offer letter arrived on March 8th, to start with a real estate firm near Philadelphia.  The commute would be longer, but the money was good.  I had to follow the dollar signs this time around.  After visiting with friends in Ohio, and doing vehicle maintenance in anticipation of the long drive to work each day, I was ready to toast the ol' RCA, and welcome the bright new future with an operating session.

Many thanks to those who came to this OS, and special thanks to former RCA employee Bill Collins and Rick Eyer for visiting with us this season.  Statistics for this OS are posted here

Great crews, make a railroad great, and the Moose Valley has the best!


MVOS 03/25/2006

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