Back by popular demand 🙂
Here is another one of my Daddy’s stories from his years working on the Railroad.
In my 31 year career as a mainline conductor on freight trains operating between major cities in the South, I have so many memories and stories to tell. Some warm and funny; some cold and tragic.
Recently, I decided to relate a few of these stories to my daughter.
For years, these ‘feel good’ stories have been kept between me and my beautiful wife who God called back to heaven a few years back.
Today’s story is totally true and it occurred late one evening after I stopped at a small rural yard to drop off several cars from my train. Since this was the last stop before our final destination I knew that my wife and two children would be waiting to pick me up and I looked forward to sitting down for a good hot meal and playing with my kids before they went to bed.
Anyway, as I was saying, after stopping the train, I got down and began walking back to separate the cars that I was to leave from the cars that would continue on to our destination. After strolling a short distance, I noticed what appeared to be two figures unsuccessfully attempting to climb into one of our train’s empty boxcars.
As I came closer I could see that it was a young teenager and a very elderly man–both wearing worn and dirty clothes.
I immediately identified myself and began engaging them in a short chat about what they were trying to accomplish. To my surprise, they admitted they had planned to ride the train to South Georgia to pick peaches. I advised them that the boxcar that they were trying to enter would NOT be continuing on with the train. I went on to suggest that they follow me so that I could lead them to a car that they could ride in order to get to our destination; which they did.
After we reached the car that I have chosen, the older man attempted to enter first but he was so weak that both the teenager and I had to lift him through the door. As the two of us lifted the older man, the younger man admitted that neither of them had eaten in days and they were hoping to get to a food shelter.
Having had some experience with hobos, I knew that the food shelter would be closed before we could reach our destination. At this point, I began to worry about their survival.
As a young husband and father, I lived on a tight budget. My first priority was to make sure that my wife and kids had the things they needed. With that being the case, I had very little money to spare and on this particular day, I only had three dollars in my pocket. However, I knew that these guys were in a very desperate situation so I decided to give them the money.
Honestly, I really didn’t give it a second thought since I already had lunch and it would not be much longer before I would be going home to enjoy a good meal with my wife and kids.
By the way, I did tell the two men that I was NOT authorized to permit them to ride on the train so I urged them to stay out of sight 😉
After I left these ‘passengers’ huddled in the corner of the boxcar, I felt a slight bounce in my step and a little smile on my face as I went about working– knowing that they would not be stranded and hungry in a cold dark yard that night.
YAAASSSS! Daddy DID that! LOL ❤