by Jim Sabol
The Golden Grab Iron Service Award is given each year to a member of the 4th Division, Pacific Northwest Region, National Model Railroad Association, who exemplifies extraordinary service to the members of the organization. For 2017 the selection committee, comprised of the immediate past three honorees, has chosen Greg Wright for his outstanding longtime contributions.
It is not difficult to find Greg Wright. Just look for a great modeler with a family railroad heritage. Greg’s father and grandfather were SP&S and NP railroaders who sometimes took Greg along when they went to work. To find Greg as a child, just look for a little guy getting to know model trains with a Lionel set and Marx cars. To find Greg as a young man, look for a youngster getting into serious modeling with his HO and HOn3 layout. Then, look for Greg taking the brave leap into the realm of 1:32 large scale modeling with uniquely improvised locomotives and scratch built structures that tower over your head on the Consolidated Republic Mining Company narrow gauge railroad. To find Greg Wright these days, just look for the popular Olympia clinics that Greg helps plan as well as chair each month and at which he sometimes shares his own skills and models. Check out the PNR and NMRA convention schedules to find Greg on their programs sharing his clinics with a wider audience. To find Greg, just look to the annual Olympia OlyOps operating sessions that attract modelers from all over the region to benefit the Thurston County Food Bank. Look for Greg helping the active Whidbey Island crew put on their annual Whidbey op sessions. And don’t overlook Greg helping organize the annual G.O.P.H.E.R.S. outing to help modelers understand more of our prototype heritage. Then check out Greg in the layout room of a modeler having trouble with his wiring or DCC throttle. There you’ll find Greg with his sleeves rolled up, sharing his knowledge to help a fellow modeler.
So, if you’re searching for Greg Wright, just look for the guy in front of a group giving a clinic, look for the guy meeting with a committee to plan the Olympia clinics or prototype field trip. Check out the guy at his computer preparing the schedules for OlyOps. See who’s the willing helper working on a friend’s layout: that’s where you’ll find Greg Wright generously and cheerfully giving of his time and talents to spread the joy of model railroading in whatever your scale or wherever you reside in the 4th Division.