Among the display of miniature Sunday houses and trains at the Cancer Resource Center’s upcoming holiday open house will be three railroad cars collected by retired aeronautical engineer Bill Petynia of Fredericksburg.
Petynia lovingly calls his railroad operation the "WT&M—the Waste of Time and Money." His wife, Billye, a Hill Country Memorial volunteer, agrees completely, but she still encourages his interest.
The display is part of the CRC’s tribute to local hospital volunteers set for Tuesday, Dec. 14, from noon to 3 p.m. at the center located on the first floor of the Brune Professional Building at 808 Reuben St. The public is invited to enjoy holiday treats at the free event that will also showcase volunteer opportunities available at the local hospital including openings in the areas of hospice, auxiliary, cancer resource center, thrift shop and foundation.
"We appreciate the wonderful attitude of Bill and Billye toward the hospital and this community in general," Linda Davis, director of patient relations, volunteer services and Passport 55 for HCM, said. "When they moved here, Billye wanted her volunteer time to be meaningful. Since we are always welcoming such dedicated volunteers, it has worked out beautifully!"
The Petynias first retired to Albuquerque where they lived for 16 years. That’s when he started building scale model railroad exhibits in his back yard to fulfill a lifelong interest in model trains. His first train was a $12 set from the Sears catalogue. Today, the couple shares a love of riding short-line railroads that still operate in various states, including California, New Mexico and Texas.
The three WT&M cars he will be displaying at the open house are "G scale" models of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad that served the southwestern United States in the late 1800s.
For more information on the open house or the CRC, call (830) 990-6648.