Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad

Isn't this a great old locomotive? Trains have always been a large part of our lives.
To be more precise, the AT&SF Railroad is where my husband worked for 41 years - starting out during a summer when he was 17 and retiring when he was 58 years old.
Ray was a railroader through and through. He was in engineering - maintenance of way. Over the years, he rose up through the ranks nicely. Much of his job kept him on the road part of the time - in fact a lot of the time for some periods. And we did a lot of moving.

First to Ft. Madison, Iowa, when they consolidated the Illinois and Missouri Divisions and headquartered the office at Shopton - which was Ft. Madison. That is shown above. A nice period in our lives. We moved with a lot of Chillicothe folks and met a lot of Marceline, Missouri, folks and it was good.

After about six years, we were transferred to Topeka, Kansas, to the main headquarters of the Santa Fe. For a time, he was home all the time until they sent him back to Ft. Madison to take care of a job there, so he was "on the road" again. Topeka was a great town and we enjoyed that for about 8 years. The kids went through junior high and Sherry through high school there. Again, about Thanksgiving time when Bill was in his last year of junior high and Sherry her last year of high school, we were transferred.
This time to Newton, Kansas. Needless to say, Ray went down and got a room and the kids and I stayed in Topeka to let them finish their school year. We moved right after graduation. That was a tough one especially for Sherry. Bill found some guys his age right away and we had the fanciest tree house in the corner of our yard which was part of a shelter belt. I know the move was so hard on Sherry, and I am sure she was so glad to leave for KU later that summer. Ray was gone a lot in Newton so it was Bill and me most of the time. I worked at Hesston Corporation as a secretary - they made farm implements. Newton was not well loved by any of us - we were there three years. Right after Bill's graduation from high school, we were transferred to

Argentine, Kansas, where Ray was Division Engineer. We lived in Overland Park and were there for thirteen years.

Here is the tower in the yards at Argentine. Ray was always home since his "territory" was only seven miles long. That was wonderful!

Here's my railroader in his office at Argentine. Above him is a needlepoint I did depicting his HO layout in our basement (he had model trains from the time we were married). I dubbed it the "OS Railroad" because of the expletive that he used when he ran a piece of rolling stock off the table! That has always been my favorite expression also when things go awry - something about it always makes you feel better. (Click to enlarge)

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture of your husband in his office with the ash tray on his desk. I can remember going into my dad's CPA office and almost all of them had lit cigerettes or cigars going. Now days if you were to search very hard in offices and most homes you cant even find and ashtray. I keep a crystal one in my china cabinet that was my mom's never have an occasion or request for use so I just lay pretty trinkets in it. Oh well.