Doug Harding writes:
"Say it's not so! An icon of the south is to be moved, perhaps even removed
forever, from its sacred resting place. I guess those photos I took years
ago will become treasured memories, artifacts of a past visit, as I may
never again be able to duplicate the experience of seeing the O&W hopper, of
capturing the moment forever on the sensor of my camera. Where are the
historians? Where are the protestors?"
Well, in fact, there was a protestor at Harriman yesterday afternoon. It seems that a bum has been living in the car for several years. He had burrowed into the coal pile and actually had a rather nice apartment in the car[ compared to others at Harriman, of course ]. His heating bill was $0 per year...he would simply burn part of his apartment when it got cold [ like 40 below ]. In fact, three federal officials dropped by to see if his technique could be used in Wash DC. Anyhow, he claimed that the UP and O&W were trying to tear down his home and sued both RRs. Alas, no one could determine where the O&W is so the claim was thrown out. Rumors are that the Central Vermont was also listed [ I mean...why not? ] but no one knew where Vermont was either.
"Should we call out the National Guard to protect this hallowed icon?"
Well, the guard had been called out for some time trying to find UP frt conductor Fraley who apparently had painted the original O&W car black with N&W lettering. Sans wheels of course. I mean, everyone knows that no N&W hopper made it to Sherman Hill.
"I say we all descend upon this small hamlet in the near
future to let our feelings be known. How's January sound for everyone?"
Sounds like a plan. Rumor also indicates that Fraley was frozen solid back in '49, was thawed out in Cheyenne in April and is helping out with the Big Boy 4014 restoration. We plan to have him hand out the free cookies [ if you are lucky enough to get one...hint: stay near me at cookie time ] at Prototype Rails.
Mike Brock...very happy to have a key to Moderate Jail