7
   

Bull Durham Sacks and Railroad Tracks

 
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:22 pm
this thread reminds me of sittin around the wood stove tellin stories...four or five conversations going at once. Thanks edgar
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:23 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:

An old Delmore Brothers tune"Blue Railroad Train" done by Doc Watson.
If you want to learn what is called "Travis " pickin, this video is a big help.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsZ6qRYsaJ8[/youtube]


When you call it Travis pickin', is that as in Merle? I used to hear him on the radio for quite a few years.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:27 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

There will be no central theme in this thread. I plan to post whatever interests me. A little music, a news article, poems, stories - Whatever.

Did you forget about THIS THREAD already? Wink Laughing


That thread seemed restricted. It never attracted a wide following.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:34 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:

this thread reminds me of sittin around the wood stove tellin stories...four or five conversations going at once. Thanks edgar


Yezzir.
Down the tracks from where I lived in those times, was a railroad camp, and the workers in it were Pima Indians. My older brother was virtually adopted by these people. He and his best friend, Houston, planned on getting jobs with the railroad when they turned 18. I believe they were talking $2 hr wages. Didn't sound like big bucks to me, even then. The Pimas gradually abandoned the camp, a few at a time. I visited there in 1965, and only saw one family left, and they too were set to move. I believe they all went to Albuquerque.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:34 pm
@edgarblythe,
Yeah. Merle developed a style that alternated bass strings played by the thumb back in the 50's...here's a great view of it

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:37 pm
The Utah Phillips songs are spot on. Good songs.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:42 pm
If we're just sittin' around the stove, tellin' tales, i'll tell the tale of how my grandfather got his full-time job with the C, B & Q. (I'm sure i've told it before, but so what?)

My grandfather was tall for his day--over six feet tall, which made him taller than most grown men when he was a boy. In those days, no one much paid attention to your age, just whether or not you were big enough to do the work (which is how i started farm labor at age 13). He started on the extra board at age 14. The extra board was where people could sign up to take the shift of someone who called off, and putting your name on was first come, first served. You wanted to get there early, and sit around all day if that's what it took. So, in 1913 one day, my granfather showed up, signed in and sat down. And he sat there all day. He was about to give it up when they started to call for someone to got out to the depot in Edwards. All kinds of men who were there just turned away. My grandfather had a pretty good notion of why, but he wanted the work, and he was willing to try. According to my great aunt (his sister-in-law), they laughed, but they gave him the job.

Well, there was a siding in Edwards, and a depot and a milk shed. That was about it, not even a telegraph line. The depot would be used by conductors making up a train out of the siding, but it was otherwise unoccupied. This was miner country, and of a Saturday, when they got paid, they'd go pay off their tavern bill, go home to the old lady, and then go get drunk on what was left (if nothing was left, the tavern would extend credit to those who faithfully paid their tab). In Edwards, there wasn't even a tavern, so they'd be walking back along the railroad tracks, drunk, and knowing they couldn't go home and keep drinking, so they'd go into the depot (they never locked it because they'd just kick in the door if it was locked), which had an old pot bellied stove to keep them warm if need be.

If there was a railroad man there, they'd just beat him up and toss him out, or he'd run off before they got there. My grandfather wanted to be a railroad man really bad, and he had already purchased a shiny brass lamp, coal-oil fired, of the kind that railroad men carried. Knowing Edwards as he did, he went into the depot, and left the door ajar. As the miners filed in, he cold-cocked 'em with the lamp, and laid them in a pile next to the stove. From what my great aunt told me, he only had to fight three of them at once, and they were all drunk--while he was sober, and bigger than them (taller, anyway). Finally, the boys at the yard sent someone out on a put-put car to see what had happened to him--by now, most boys would have already high-tailed it back to the yard. They found him sitting in the only chair, with his feet on the stove, and a pile of drunk miners sleeping it off on the floor.

After that, they gave him a full time job as a gandy-dancer. He didn't want to do that work all the time, so when he finished his night work shifting rails in the yard (gandy dancers worked all the time, maintaining the tracks, which shift with usage), he'd go to school to learn bookkeeping and telegraphy. After the Great War, he passed his exam for telegrapher, and a few years later, qualified as a station master.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:52 pm
@Setanta,
good un set. Always heard of gandy dancers ...could you elaborate on what they did?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 06:59 pm
That's a pretty good story. I've told most of my railroad stuff on other threads.
When I was fourteen, we loaded the family into a Santa Fe passenger train and headed out from Fresno, CA, to Corpus Christi, TX. That was a beautiful train.

I was much too restless to sit still a whole three days. I wandered as much of the cars as I could get away with, until passengers began telling me they didn't appreciate my passing so much.

In Houston, we had to swap over to a dingy Tex-Mex train. The nearer it came to Corpus, the more straggly became the trees. The landscape looked all dry and I saw lots of prickly pear cactus. I had a sudden vision of us at the edge of the real world, a virtual thousand miles from true civilization. I felt homesick for California and just a bit frightened.

The railroad told us our dog got out of his cage and got off the train in Houston. He was never found. In retrospect, I think he probably ran out of food and water and died.

It took from age 14 to about 36 to become reconciled to life in Texas. The few times I went back to California, I no longer fit in, it seemed.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:05 pm
I appreciate that Merle Travis video.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:08 pm
Sergeant Small
Tex Morton

I went broke in western Queensland in Nineteen Thirty One
Nobody would employ me so my swag carrying begun
I came down into Charleville through all the western towns
I was on my way to Roma destination Darling Downs

My pants were getting ragged my boots were getting thin
But when I stopped at Mitchell a goods train shunted in
I heard the whistle blowing and looking out could see
She was on her way to Roma it was quite plain to me

I wish I was about twenty stone only seven feet tall
I'd go back to western Queensland and beat up Sergeant Small

Now as I sat and watched her inspiration's seed was sown
I remembered the Government slogan: Here's the railway that you own
By this time the sun was setting and the night was getting nigh
So I gathered my belongings and took her on the fly

When we got into Roma I kept my head down low
I heard a voice say "Any room Mate?" I answered "Plenty Bo"
"Come out of there my noble man" came the voice of Sergeant Small
"I have trapped you very nicely - you've ridden for a fall"

I wish I was about twenty stone only seven feet tall
I'd go back to western Queensland and beat up Sergeant Small

The judge was very kind to me he gave me thirty days
Saying "Maybe this will help to cure your rattler jumping ways"
So if you're down and outback boys I'll tell you what I think
Stay off those Queensland goods trains they're a short cut to the clink

I wish I was about twenty stone only seven feet tall
I'd go back to western Queensland and beat up Sergeant Small

Play MP3

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:16 pm
@panzade,
They were the ones who took the five foot long iron bars and levered the track into place and held it while it was hammered down to the ties. The term became general for anyone who worked on rail maintenance.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:16 pm




Ruby's Arms
Tom Waits

I will leave behind all of my clothes,
I wore when i was with you,
all I need's my railroad boots
and my leather jacket
as i say goodbye to Ruby's arms
although my heart is breaking,
i will steal away out through your
blinds, for soon you will be waking.

The morning light has washed your face
and everything is turning blue now,
hold on to your pillow case
there's nothing i can do now,
as i say goodbye to Ruby's arms,
you'll find another soldier,
and i swear to god by christmas time,
there'll be someone else to hold you.

The only thing i'm taking is
the scarf off of your clothesline,
i'll hurry past your chest of drawers
and your broken wind chimes,
as i say goodbye
i'll say goodbye,
say goodbye to Ruby's arms.

I will feel my way down the darkened hall,
and out into the morning,
the hobos at the freightyards
have kept their fires burning,
so jesus christ this goddamn rain,
will someone put me on a train,
i'll never kiss your lips again
or break your heart,
as i say goodbye
i'll say goodbye,
say goodbye to Ruby's arms.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:19 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
The nearer it came to Corpus, the more straggly became the trees. The landscape looked all dry and I saw lots of prickly pear cactus. I had a sudden vision of us at the edge of the real world, a virtual thousand miles from true civilization.


I took the Amtrack from Tucson to Sanford Florida ten years ago...48 hours of heat, hell and drug sniffin dogs.
Ill never forget the corrugated tin shacks on the other side of the border....miles and miles of 'em
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:21 pm
@Setanta,
thanks boss...guess they were linin' track

0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:26 pm
the spread of the railway was not quite as prosaic as Gord would have us believe, but it's a damn fine song



Gordon Lightfoot
Canadian Railroad Trilogy

There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real

But time has no beginnings and the history has no bounds
As to this verdant country they came from all around
They sailed upon her waterways and they walked the forests tall
Built the mines, mills and the factories for the good of us all

And when the young man's fancy was turnin' to the spring
The railroad men grew restless for to hear the hammers ring
Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day
And many a fortune lost and won and many a debt to pay

For they looked in the future and what did they see
They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
Bringing the goods to a young growing land
All up from the seaports and into their hands

Look away said they across this mighty land
From the eastern shore to the western strand

Bring in the workers and bring up the rails
We gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails
Open her heart let the life blood flow
Gotta get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow

Bring in the workers and bring up the rails
We're gonna lay down the tracks and tear up the trails
Open her heart let the life blood flow
Gotta get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow
Get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow

Behind the blue Rockies the sun is declining
The stars they come stealing at the close of the day
Across the wide prairie our loved ones lie sleeping
Beyond the dark ocean in a place far away

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swinging our hammers in the bright blazing sun
Living on stew and drinking bad whiskey
Bending our backs til the long days are done

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swinging our hammers in the bright blazing sun
Laying down track and building the bridges
Bending our old backs til the railroad is done

So over the mountains and over the plains
Into the muskeg and into the rain
Up the St. Lawrence all the way to Gaspe
Swinging our hammers and drawing our pay
Layin' 'em in and tying them down
Away to the bunkhouse and into the town
A dollar a day and a place for my head
A drink to the living, a toast to the dead

Oh the song of the future has been sung
All the battles have been won
On the mountain tops we stand
All the world at our command
We have opened up her soil
With our teardrops and our toil

For there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
And many are the dead men too silent to be real
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 07:36 pm
these tunes from the pogues are probably closer to the truth



Poor Paddy
Pogues

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
The corduroy breeches I put on
Me corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
From Hartlepool I moved to Crewe
Found myself a job to do
A working on the railway

I was wearing corduroy breeches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging pitches, as I was
Working on the Railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-three
I broke the shovel across me knee
I went to work for the company
On the Leeds to Selby railway

I was wearing corduroy breeches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging pitches, as I was
Working on the Railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
My belly was empty me hands were raw
With working on the railway, the railway
I'm sick to my guts of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-five
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive
And working on the railway

I was wearing corduroy breeches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging pitches, as I was
Working on the Railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-six
I changed my trade to carrying bricks
I changed my trade to carrying bricks
To work upon the railway

I was wearing corduroy breeches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging pitches, as I was
Working on the Railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-seven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to Heaven
The old bugger was thinking of going to Heaven
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm sick to my death of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy breeches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging pitches, as I was
Working on the Railway



Navigator
Pogues

The canals and the bridges, the embankments and cuts,
They blasted and dug with their sweat and their guts
They never drank water but whiskey by pints
And the shanty towns rang with their songs and their fights.

Navigator, Navigator rise up and be strong
The morning is here and there's work to be done.
Take your pick and your shovel and the bold dynamite
For to shift a few tons of this earthly delight
Yes to shift a few tons of this earthly delight.

They died in their hundreds with no sign to mark where
Save the brass in the pocket of the entrepreneur.
By landslide and rockblast they got buried so deep
That in death if not life they'll have peace while they sleep.

Navigator, Navigator rise up and be strong
The morning is here and there's work to be done.
Take your pick and your shovel and the bold dynamite
For to shift a few tons of this earthly delight
Yes to shift a few tons of this earthly delight.

Their mark on this land is still seen and still laid
The way for a commerce where vast fortunes were made
The supply of an Empire where the sun never set
Which is now deep in darkness, but the railway's there yet.

Navigator, Navigator rise up and be strong
The morning is here and there's work to be done.
Take your pick and your shovel and the bold dynamite
For to shift a few tons of this earthly delight
Yes to shift a few tons of this earthly delight.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 08:58 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
That thread seemed restricted. It never attracted a wide following.

So, this thread seems mainly about trains and railroading. Don't know much about 'em.

What else would be interesting to talk about here?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 09:18 pm
Introduce a topic, reyn. I don't mind expanding the conversation. Right now, however, I am getting ready for a long night's slumber. If I don't get my 5 1/2 hours sleep I'm a bear.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 09:39 pm
@Reyn,
http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/exhibits/family.jpg

We figured we'd sit around the wood stove with edgar, you know, like manly men; smoke cigars, drink whiskey and spit on the floor. Sing some railroad and sea shanty songs and talk about manly stuff...yeah, we let osso and ehbeth hang out cause they don't have cooties. Expecting tico and farmerman, soon as they get wind of it.
 

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