Re: Richard Hendrickson

Armand Premo

Nicely said..A Premo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2014 10:53 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Richard Hendrickson


The greatest tragedy of Richard's death is that at 83, he was still a person of physical vitality (to my knowledge, he still flew aerobatics in his own Citabria airplane), and his undiminished productive mind continued on at a pace that those younger might only envy. He was not ready to yet wind down his life; nor was there any need that I last knew about to actually consider doing so.

The Big Hole in his productive life, as many of his railroad friends and students might see it, was that he never produced a Magnum Opus, THE FREIGHT CAR BOOK, that would have summarized for posterity the vast amount of data that he accumulated over a lifetime of interest, and which only exists in part in widely scattered publications, most of which were low-volume (even by our standards) and defunct to boot. The high value of such accumulated knowledge and data only gains the high acclaim that posterity requires when it is actually published for wide critical review.   Richard always explained to me that he was  reluctant to do so  because railroad interests were only a part of his everyday life; and in his retirement, his devotion to flying and aerobatics (for instance) quite often took precedence, if only because advancing age of pilots and the FAA eventually close at a single point.

I believe that it is safe to say that the  person closest to Richard in the sharing of railroad interests in general, and freight car interests in particular, is Tony Thompson; and at some appropriate and respectful time, I would hope that he might weigh in on how Richard would have liked to have made all of this knowledge available to those who follow.




Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA

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