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1: OTL 87-26705 WilliamSend e-mail

My father came from a railroading family. His uncles all worked for the Frisco in Rolla or Newburg, Missouri. His father, who moved his family to northeast Texas around 1902, was a locomotive engineer; in fact, the sole surviving photograph of this man shows him posed beside the right hand cylinder of his engine. This heritage notwithstanding, as a boy my father was not above some railroad hi-jinks. He told me of the times that he and my uncles sneaked up to the tracks where they went upgrade outside of town, laden with soap or perhaps lard with which they liberally anointed the rails. Then, hiding in the underbrush, they would watch the next train to come along and enjoy the sight of the drivers spinning helplessly while the engineer’s comments turned the air bluer than did the engine’s exhaust stack! His home of Paris, Texas was served by the Frisco, the T&P, and the Paris and Mount Pleasant RR, though which of these were the recipients of my father’s pranks I never learned.

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