Friday, December 15, 2017

A happy man ..

I live in a very small town in North Carolina. Our Seaboard Street has a post office, a library, a hardware store and a few small businesses. They are all on one side of the street as you see here.

The other side of the street is heavily wooded and looks over the single train track that cuts through the town. The trains have to be scheduled very carefully since there is only one track. We used to get 3 or 4 CSX freight trains and an Amtrak one heading North during the daylight hours and another Amtrak passenger one heading South after Midnight.

A few days ago. at the Post Office. it occurred to me that I never saw the freight trains anymore. A chat with an old-timer verified this and he and I had great fun recalling when things were very different.
Only 8 or 9 years ago we had a fun loving conductor who would actually slow his freight train down as he approached our town. Then, as his train idled he would hop down and scale the small hill that led to the street. Once there he would jog across the street and disappear around the corner. According to “those in the know” he was on his way to the “Subway” eatery located in the BP Service Station one street away. “He does this once or twice a week at lunchtime” they said, “It's been going on for years.”

I remember actually witnessing this once and was trying to take it all in when the man reappeared carrying a large bag with the “Subway” logo on it. He had a big grin on his face and was thoroughly enjoying himself. He then disappeared over the edge of the bank and a few seconds later we saw him board the train.
As the engine gained speed he stuck his head out and gave us a last wave. “Now there goes a man who loves his job” I thought and the sheer audacity of his action makes me laugh even today. I want to believe that he's still breaking rules in this delightful way and certainly hope he hasn't disappeared along with the freight trains !


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Such an interesting story, as usual, Ginnie. A train is important to the life of a town. Then again, the small town was important to the engineer.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

He sounds like a character. His actions wouldn't be permitted today, but they were a point of interest for you and your town.

Just 12 years ago, when we came to this town, the trains ran through. Then came collapse of 2008, and they stopped running. Later, the track were pulled up, and it is being turned into t trail.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a delightful story and so glad you got to see it acted out. Wonder how he found out about if for the first time?

6:25 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Hey, Ginnie,
I kind of remember what I wrote on this last post… it was about our local train that runs thru here a couple, 2,3 times a week, more during harvest time… As you know I spend right much time at our local Train Station (museum) and so notice when trains come thru – but especially notice if they stop for some reason. One day the train stopped for 45 minutes – yep forty five… the engineer was getting a haircut at the barber shop across the road from our Train Station! The bells kept clanging and the lights flashed at the crossing about 500 feet away for 45 minutes while he waited in the barber shop and then got clipped. The engine was running the entire time – pretty expensive haircut, wouldn’t you say?
Now down your way, the train looks like it would be out of sight, but here, it was right out in the open. Most of the time it parallels Route 13, and is only about 20 feet from the highway. No place to hide!
Years ago the train used to stop across 13 from a fried chicken joint for lunch, and still sometimes stops across from a convenience store for coffee. None of our Subways are close enough to make a sandwich run!

A fun story! I can just see the guy running down that hill with his lunch! Thanks for the smile, Ginnie!
Hope this one makes it!!!!!

1:01 PM  

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