“We started volunteering in September, 2014. Jim grew up riding trains in west Texas, and has always loved them.  He was interested in volunteering somewhere, but didn’t realize there was an opportunity in this area until he met Bert [Dockall]. I didn’t grow up riding trains, but I did develop an interest in train travel while listening to the old song, “Faraway Places,” growing up in Montana.

Jim loves On Board Services.  He likes dealing with people, making them happy, seeing them smile, and talking with them (often about trains).  He especially enjoys the kids and always has plenty of “volunteers” to help change the wheel if we get a “flat.” Playing Santa this year was unexpected, but he had fun with that, too.  Jim hopes to expand his knowledge, and his usefulness to ASTA, by taking the Trainman and other classes this coming year.

I like working Concessions.  I find it fun to help customers find what they’re looking for, make suggestions, point out specials, and “ring ‘em up.”  Even re-stocking the counters is fun.  I can always find something to do in the Concession Car and am excited to see the new one.

Volunteering for ASTA is a great experience for all ages. Youngsters learn responsibility while having fun, and some may even consider trains as a career choice. Seniors can relive old times and fulfill life-long dreams (as we did). And those in between young and old can maybe do both.  Volunteering can be a family experience, too. We will always cherish the time we shared working with our grandson, Kolton, on the North Pole Flyers this year and hope to have him with us on many more runs throughout the year.

As Jim says, “If you like railroads and like people, this is the place to be. They need us, train us, and we get to work with some of the most wonderful people in the world!” ~ Debbie McKimmey