It would always be nice to get the full story before you write a story. Perhaps I need to start treating this blog as I did my school newspaper days. The full stories are usually so much more interesting.
This is in answer to XUP on a blog I wrote a couple of days ago We have an exciting future ahead of us! « Savanvleck’s Weblog about my great grandfather bringing home railroad dishes that were dumped out at the end of the line. I have now received an answer from mom Padairvanvleck’s Weblog, so here is the full story, or as full as we know.
My great grandfather was a nighttime switchman. He did not enter the dining cars or any train cars. He stayed outside.
Apparently there was no union for, probably any of them, but the waiters did not get paid overtime. So, if they stayed to do any dishes, after their run, it was on their own time and we all know how tired you can be after standing and walking and working in a train for “x” number of hours; and they weren’t going to “give” the railroad company their time. So, they would pick up the table cloths, with dishes in them and dump them, food and all.
Mom also states about the dish pile, “I suppose rats ate any food, But Mom did like the heavy dishes, because we didn’t break them so easily, when doing dishes. …goodness, he had a lot of faults, but I doubt stealing was one of them. I’ve just never considered his story anything but the truth. I think if anything, he would say they gave him the dishes because they didn’t want to wash them before they went home. If the railroad found themselves short of dishes at any point. they could blame it on travelers , as I’m sure some were broken that way…
“Since it was the last run of the day, and at no time did Grandpa claim it was a huge amount on a run, perhaps only one table was still to be emptied. We will never know. I do know that if Grandpa DID steal them, he would think it a great joke after we moved to the hill, because that’s when he retired.”
I could tell you a lot of other Great Grandfather stories:
· He liked to throw roaches on the wood stove because no one else liked the smell.
· When a window was broken and there was no money for glass, he liked to tack the spare linoleum with the pattern out because it mortified my mother when she got off the school bus. This lead to a great story of one of her grandmother’s standing staring out the “lineoleum covered dark underside” window one night for some time and then stating, “It’s the darkest night I’ve ever seen.”
· He had a naked chicken (no feathers) for a pet
The stories go on but I’m waiting for the book to come out. Mom is writing her life story and it should be a doozy.
P.S. Mom send me another email this morning. Here’s the final installment of this story:
“Did I tell you that Grandpa wasn’t the only one that brought home those dishes. It was common knowledge, and he didn’t always get first pick. Sometimes he only brought one item home. He had to be on duty, to catch the dishes thrown away , and if he was down the line when the waiters cleared the last tables, the throw-a-ways were picked up by others. They may even have eaten left over sandwiches. or doughnuts. With food being so scarce, I’ll bet they didn’t mind a half eaten sandwich.”
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