January 15, 2018 10:12:54 AM
I enjoyed the article on the old railroad bridge on the south end of First Street (Partial to Home: 'James and Me, and the River'). The story brought back some nice memories of getting to ride in the train that traveled those tracks. The time would have been around 1960 when I would spend a lot of time at my grandfather's packing plant about a mile east of the GM&O depot.
I liked waving at the engineers on the trains going past the packing plant. It turned out my grandfather knew the engineer that operated the switch engine at the depot. My grandfather had been a salesman for one of the large meat packing companies, and the engineer had been a truck driver for the same company.
Many times we would have coffee early in the morning at the Ritz Cafe and would visit with the engineer. I really wanted to ride in the train, and we scheduled a time where I could ride while picking up cars and making up a train and going to Artesia to deliver the train and pick up more cars to deliver to Columbus.
This really made a very big impression on a 9-year-old kid. Over the years I got to ride several more times.
He would pick me up at the packing plant and drop me off after the shift. Even today I remember the engine number, 1113.
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