think there is a trope forming, that for some reason everyone I attempt to carpool with suffers a medical episode. This time, got a call from the ER the night before, my co-ride bowing out. Come on, how dangerous are heart flutters in the grand scheme of things, you big baby! I mean, we’re talking operations on the West Virginia Northern!
So, flying solo, I made my way out there. We were a bit short (with an additional cancellation), with Hostess Gail doubling up on yard jobs (“Thankee, no,” I thought). Instead, I got to run some really nice rolls, the Harris Turn (one of my favorites) and then a short coal run that cut off the line at an interchange and departed for Madison. It was my favorite type of running – some switching, but really a focus on train handling and whistle blowing. Great runs, which paid for the long drive.
After a nice lunch, we settled back in to the session. I signed up for another favorite, the Ashbury Hostler. Then realization hit me – nobody new had showed up. I called in to Gail who was cleaning up in the kitchen and asked if Ashbury Hostler also meant the Ashbury West End. This was the double-job she worked this morning, and so, yes, of course it did. And I’d signed up in ink, just like a pact with the Devil. So now I was stuck running both jobs.
Truthfully, it’s not that hard to double up, as long as that last local in doesn’t show while you are still dealing with the last coal train. Happily, co-host and engineer Greg was stuck in a Battle of Fire and Ice! (Rather, two trains moving against him, a coal train and a PFE block) (Get it? Fire and Ice? Har har!) Anyway, by the time he got to Ashbury, I was all cleared up and ready to take him in. Mission accomplished.
And yes, for the guy who stood me up with minor medical inconveniences, my double-shift was on you!
Anyway, a great day at the Komar’s. Glad I could attend!