Al Kresse wrote:
The late Gene Huddleston , photographer, writer and professor, worked summers at Russell during post-WW2 era as an assistant clerk. Even into his eighties he said he could remember the horrible smell of decaying chunks of watermelon left in the cars coming back from Chicago getting ready to be assembled into a train heading down the Chinchfield Route back to Florida. Reefers would have been cleaned out.Then Gene should have opened some "empty" reefer doors to see what was inside. Reefers were often sent back "empty" with not only remnants of packing crates, etc. inside, but any damaged or spoiled produce too. Certainly PFE had to clean out reefers when they arrived back west, and fumigate them too if varmints had gotten a little colony going. Rotten produce was very common.
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