Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Air conditioning?


Have conditions of employment improved markedly since, say, 52 years ago? I just sent this to a brother re lack of A/C.


You are a close friend, an esteemed research colleague, and, of course, a brother par excellence, whom I have known since 1981.

However, . . . . (here it comes).

When we worked Espee steam in the San Joaquin Valley, during 100 degree plus days for 16 hours (all work no limbo) , we sat right up against the backhead of the firebox and boiler. My job was to "Keep 'er hot, Freddy." When we climbed down the ladder at the end of a trip, our legs and arms had the power of wet noodles. We said, "I'm so hungry, I can hardly keep my eyes open." Because we were "mileage hungry" and would register in at 15 hrs and 59 mins, we would get out on our 8 hrs of so-called rest. In those days, we had iron men and wooden cabooses, manning the great crop rushes in the Valley. Our First 787, westward (North Coast Perishable), could display green signals for as many as five following sections. On the (central California) Coast, our brothers did almost as well, with up to 500 dripping reefers out per night form Watsonville and San Jose yards.

When, stopping in some jerk water, tank town to take on water, I would soak myself from the spout. Ahhh! ("Freddy, the water goes in the tank.")

/FRED/, a hot number