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Old 05-04-2013, 03:45 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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BB, he was remarkable, he and his wife LIVED the train industry their whole adult life and died less than a year apart at 95 after being married 72 years. He had photos of them living in a train car in Truckee covered in snow. He worked in the Sacramento roundhouse that the California Rail car museum is located, he had stories that blow the mind. I may have mentioned this here before but you will have a very good grasp on this. When he lived in Truckee he would walk to Reno (about 35 miles?) in a "shift" inspecting the track! Then he did another inspection with a mirror on the end of a stick that he would inspect under the lip of the track for cracks. His boss would have road a rail car down that track and put chalk marks under the lip that he had better report where he saw them!
I was a paint rep at that time and use to sell paint to the Skunk Train up on Willits. They had a repair station in Fort Bragg that I would go into often and when I got home I would go next door and tell him about what I saw some old engine or something, he would light up telling me all kinds of facts about it.

He was something else, still to this day there are pieces of RR track all over the back yard of the house he lived in next door. Including the clothes line, it's made from narrow gauge track!

He was a caractor if there ever was one and like I said, a treasure in my life to have had him next door. These are old houses (mine made in 47) and when I moved in and talking to him and his wife Betty over the little 4' high back yard fence I felt like I was living in a Norman Rockwell print. That fence is long gone, that was 10 or so years ago and I now have a renter living there and the little fence we use to talk over is long gone.

There is a street in Niles where he was the Depot Master (I think that's the term) named after him.

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