Sunday, December 22, 2013

Railroads and Trains

My father had a collection of railroad spikes that I decided to give to my grandsons this year.  But, I thought they (and their parents) needed to know why trains are so important.  My father, LeRoy Long and Grandfather, Roy Long worked for Missouri-Pacific railroad when I was a child. At one time they were both boilermakers although Dad later became an Electrician.   I went with them to the shops (where the trains were being repaired) and I took advantage of passes by getting on a train (unaccompanied by an adult), riding to DeSoto, Mo (about an hour away from St. Louis) where my parents and/or relatives would meet me. 

Once we even took an over-night trip to Oklahoma City to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins.  I can remember waking up on the train, looking out the window and being amazed by red soil of Oklahoma. I also made trips to Boston with my mother, but I was too young to remember that.

My grandparents and my grandmother's family all rode on passes since most of them worked for Missouri-Pacific.  Uncle Walter Maupin brought me two gifts from one of their frequent trips to Texas to visit family.
 The soft suede cow-girl outfit pictured above has been worn by me, my daughters and my granddaughters.   The tag says it is from Muskogee, OK.  I suspect my great-uncle bought it and the doll below at a vendor while the train was stopped in Muskogee.

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