SANTRAK, as a club, began to mature in the late spring and early summer of 1991. We realized the need for club officers before we could become a formal club entity and establish a bank account. The elected officers were:
Marshall Long - President
David Coates - Vice President
Bob Swayze - Secretary
Bill Carpenter - Treasurer.
With a list of duly elected officers, Bill Carpenter, as treasurer, was now able to obtain a tax number, establish a bank account and also register the name of the club at the Bexar County Courthouse. San Antonio Ntrak Association became a legal entity on 29 July 1991.
It was also about this time when we decided on the club colors of maroon and gold.Immediately after that decision, we obtained our first club shirts which a few of us still have. Tom Crow was the one that placed that order with a distributor that he had done business with.
SANTRAK also became involved in a couple of community projects during this time period. The first project concerned the plans to renovate the old Southern Pacific passenger station. A few other cities have done similar projects and have included model railroads to illustrate the railroad’s past history. I dug through my old model magazines and found several pictures of first class layouts while someone else wrote up a brief resume about our club and our suggestion for a display. This material was then copied, assembled into several brochures, and presented by David Coates and Bob Swayze to several officials that were connected with the project. They turned the idea down. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!!!
Our other involvement was more productive, possibly because we were invited into it. Some members of the New Braunfels club had started an N-Scale layout in their old train station but a couple of members had left and the remaining members were overloaded and lacking in some basic skills. They needed help so we were invited to come up and assist them in the construction. This resulted in an active working relationship between the two clubs that has lasted for many years.
Several of the SANTRAK members went up for the first few Saturday work sessions, but as the project began to develop, the work crew trimmed down to Carl Lawson, Marshall Long and myself along with the three or four New Braunfels members that were interested in N-Scale.
Lee Stewart, one of the New Braunfels members, was very active in the construction phase of the layout. In fact, Lee is the one that taught us how to stir up the latex paint and Celuclay mix, then spread it onto a loose layer of cheese cloth that has been spread over various types of supports to create the rolling hills type of scenery. Carl Lawson improved his technique of using white bead styrofoam for rocky hillsides and the original scenery on that layout has survived to this day. I, of course, spent my time under the layout installing the wiring along with the two control panels. We all learned a lot during the construction of that layout. Carl and Marshall joined the New Braunfels club during that time period and Marshall went on to become Club President a year or two later. Of course, he still maintained his membership in SANTRAK.