When the idea that a joint convention with the Missouri Pacific Historical Society in the Joplin area was mentioned to me by a friend that went to their convention, my first reaction was “How soon!” Having said that, I would like to present 3 reasons which I will refer to as principles of why I feel this way. First and foremost, I strongly believe in the principle of “Strength in Numbers”. If each individual group can draw in the neighborhood of 40+ attendees, then there is no reason why a joint well-planned and coordinated meeting could draw in excess of 100. Keith Robinson has already estimated up to 120! Secondly I am a profound believer in the principle of thinking “Out of the Box”. That means coming up with clinics and other activities that draw enough interest that some naysayers that like to fall back on the old adage of “same ole’, same ole’” will be hard pressed to do so. One example that comes to mind would be a joint clinic chaired by a member of each group that focused on Diesel Motive Power purchases and how and why they differed or were the same between the two railroads. Others could focus on operational differences, modeling trackwork, and scenery construction. The main point here is to tailor at least 50% of the clinics that would be of joint interest to both groups. The third basic principle is “Location is Everything”. A previous poster suggested that the only locations suitable in his mind would be Kansas City or St. Louis. At first glance that makes complete sense. Using the “Out of the Box” analogy, the Joplin area is to me the perfect place to go, but only if the resources available were properly utilized and explored. Within a 30 mile radius of Joplin are at least 5 attractions highlighting the rich mining heritage of the area including museums in Galena, Pittsburg, Baxter Springs, and Big Brutus. Also, centered in that area is the wonderful Heart of the Heartlands complex at Carona. I am not discounting the possibility of another train ride as was held at the first Frisco Convention, but only mentioning this as alternative as it would be less confining and more attractions could be seen. Of course it would be nice to focus some of the clinic topics as a lead in. In conclusion, Jim Senese’s suggestion of the formation of a steering committee is a good one as there is a full two years’ time to brainstorm ideas and make this the best convention yet for both groups. I hope this message serves to get people to thinking of ideas of their own to propose instead of prejudging this on what they have seen offered or actually attended in the past.