Some of you may remember that I previously posted a few of my Daddy’s tales from his 30-something year railroad career which spanned from the late 1960’s to the late 1990’s.
Naturally, he has a lot of amazing true stories to tell 🙂
Just in case you’ve missed earlier posts, you can click on the links that I have included below. Trust me you will NOT be disappointed.
Today’s story is very inspiring and I am sure you’ll enjoy it!
Take it away Daddy!
Early on in my Railroad career, I worked as a flagman for a major railroad in the South. At that time, I was assigned to a local freight train that operated daily between a large city and a smaller town in Georgia.
As the only black crew member in the late 1960’s, I was often exposed to racism–Many times to the point of depression.
However, the events in this story helped me to regain my faith and hope in mankind.
The person that I give most credit to restoring my faith was a white brakeman that I will call “Charlie.”
Although Charlie was not particularly fond of black people, we worked pretty well together. He and I did most of the ground work when our train stopped in sidetracks to switch industries or pick or set-off railcars.
In one of the towns where we worked, we would often meet up with “The Peanut Man.”
The Peanut Man was an elderly black gentleman who rode around town on a three-wheel bike with a basket on the back filled with boiled and roasted peanuts.
Now, to the best of my recollection, The Peanut Man wore the exact same outfit every time we saw him–a worn and tattered black suit with a frayed white collared shirt. A faded red bowtie, black fedora and horned rimmed glasses completed his ensemble.
Despite the ragged condition of his clothing, I often marveled at the way in which his deep dark complexion accentuated his smooth leathery skin.
Anyway, whenever Charlie and I stopped in The Peanut Man’s hometown, he’d start pedaling-feverishly- right toward us.
Of course, we knew that he knew that we were his best customers.
Why was that?
Well, Charlie and I once asked The Peanut Man if he ever got tired of pedaling around town in order to sell his peanuts. We wondered this because the town had several steep hills and, as I implied, he was well past his prime.
The Peanut man replied, “Yeah, but I need to make much money as I can.”
Though we didn’t say anything, Charlie and I both knew good and well that this man was too old to seek and find regular employment so selling peanuts was his only option for making a living.
With that in mind, whenever we saw him, we’d always buy as many bags as we could afford.
In fact, Charlie often bought much more than I did.
Here’s the amazing thing, I learned several years later that Charlie did not eat peanuts-nor did anyone else in his family.
From time to time I still wonder why he continued to buy all those peanuts.
Do you have any idea why?
LOL!!!! Hey Da, I have my suspicions but I think I’ll leave it to my friends to try to hazard a guess in the comment section!
Other “True Railroad Stories” from Dad: