‘ve got to admit I don’t know how they would cuss in 1935 (or so). Specifically, way up in Rocky Mountain towns, muddy little burgs with careers in mines, laundry and dry goods. Oh, and railroads. I’ve got the only railroad job in the town of Dolores.
Well, no, there is a guy working East Delores. So there are two of us, plus any engineers and conductors passing through on their rickety tea-kettle D&RGW trains.
So I’m out on the boardwalk watching the chaos. We’ve got a westbound general freight shying back from the platform, a long fifty yard walk if I want to communicate. He’s holding the siding. On the main, we’ve got a local who has been setting records in the category of most-runarounds (we’ve been flagging his moves all day). And now, down on the west end of the main, just inside the siding turnout, a plow unit that looks like something out of some steampunk movie called, maybe, Deathtrain or something. Gives me the willies just looking at the thing.
So, yes, I’m out on the platform (or rather out in the aisle) shoulder to shoulder with the six guys making up the crews. I’ve been trying to explain to the out-of-sightline dispatcher what the status is. There is confusion about where the plow is holding and where it’s going, who should lead west first – the plow or the waiting freight. I’m suggesting that the plow extra make the run first – he’s got no work and will clear before the westbound catches him (as he still have work at Ute Coal).
And so, a lengthy explanation of my thoughts on this. But now the dispatcher is off crewcalling for a empty cab. I stand there with mud on my boots, impotent steam swirling around my legs, the smell of cow shit smoking off the pens, nothing happening.
So, what cuss work would be appropriate?
Dispatcher: “Dolores, send the freight down first, then the extra.”
Yeah, need a word…