Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Hard to believe another year has slipped beneath our bows. It seems like the older I get the quicker they pass. The corollary being, the less I remember of what transpired!

During my Christmas vacation in 1958, I managed a cab ride on the log train up to Terrace. The plan was to stay overnight with a buddy of mine, and hitch a ride home on the westbound passenger train Sunday evening.

There had been quite a snowstorm, and the Skeena River was beginning to freeze over. It was a beautiful ride.

Just before lunch, we arrived at the Kalum Log Spurs, the big re-load facility where entire bundles of logs, over legal for highway transport, made a comfortable load for the empty log cars.

While we’d experienced occasional snow flurries it had stopped by the time we got to the reload. I watched as the head end brakeman made his way to the front of the locomotive. He turned, backed down three steps and stepped off into a pile of snow up to his armpits!

I’m sure he could hear the roar of laughter coming from the cab!

A Jordan Spreader had preceded us by about an hour, and had curled just enough snow to make things interesting for that poor fellow!

More than 50 years later, sitting here at my computer in the wee hours of the morning, I can close my eyes, and travel back in time to the warm cab of that Geep. I can hear voices and occasional laughter in the cab. Hear the “pit-sah --- pit-sah” of the windshield wipers. Smell the diesel oil. Hear the hissing and exhausting of air from the brake stand; the whining of the generator. I can feel the power of the GMD V16-654 motor as I watched the brakeman dig snow away from the switch stand …

My office Manager GingerSnap and I hope you enjoy a nice holiday season. Sometimes life isn’t fair as far as the human condition goes, but we should all strive to do the best we can with whatever hand is dealt us.

1 Comments - Click here:

LinesWest said...

Robert, a Merry Christmas to you. What an elegant and beautiful description of the sounds and feelings of that old GP. Thank you for sharing.


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