Saturday, November 19, 2005

I’m Gonna Fix Your Caboose…

It’s a small world…

I met a local guy through this blog a few days ago. He left a comment here; I dropped by his site, we exchanged comments; amazingly we both love bikes, and live here in Burlington.

It also turns out we were also both moved by an article in the local paper this week. I tried to find a link for you, but, it seems the local paper doesn’t ‘do the net’ all that well.

To make this long story a bit shorter, there are two ‘retired’ train caboose cars on display here in town, just outside of downtown. I’ve loved trains since I was a kid, in fact those of you who’ve been stopping by here for a while may remember Maryan and I went to the train museum in Roanoke on our honeymoon.

It turns out the town had been planning to sell the cars, to get rid of them, quietly of course. However as word got out, one local woman stepped up and adopted one of the cars, and this article basically was saying that unless someone else adopts the other, it will be gone.

I wanted to step up, I really did. I’ve restored one of about everything that rolls, except a rail car. I’ve love the chance to give something back to the town, to preserve that little piece of history for kids to see. But, let’s face it, I work a lot of hours, I’m not exactly independently wealthy, and I had doubts I could pull it off on my own.

Enter Wooleybugger.

I drifted into his site today, and there was his post about exactly that topic. He said he’d like to help, but isn’t wealthy, is willing to work and even try to raise some money… I left him a comment, said I was ‘in’ if he was serious.

He dropped me an email Friday night, shortly after I’d sent an email to the newspaper writer looking for information on how to ‘adopt’ this car. I’m hoping he and I can talk on Saturday, begin to put a game plan together and make this happen.

I know I can gather up some bodies for the grunt work, the real work will be getting some money raised.

Burlington is a town that was born of the railroads. It started out as what was known as a ‘Company Shop’. Essentially it was a place the carriers brought engines, and cars for repair. The town grew up around that operation. Later the mills came and went, but the town has remained.

I’d like to see this little piece of the town’s history saved from slipping into obscurity.

I’ll keep you all posted on our progress. Obviously our first hurdle is getting approved to adopt the car, and then the real work will begin. With winter right in front of us, and the car won’t be coming to my shop, it’s going to make for some interesting days and nights!

If there’s anyone else who stops by here, who is also local and would like to get involved, please let Wolleybugger or myself know.


RealLady said...

this is just another example of why I love being married to you! How you hold not only the community, your job, your fellow man and your family, especially us, in the highest esteem! and your commitment to “do the right thing” in everything you do, reflects the wonderful man you are!

Bill said...

RealLady - Why thank you darlin... you flatter me. I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but, it is the right thing to do, for me anyway!

Spirit Of Owl said...

Good luck with all that! :)

Bill said...

Spirit - Thanks bro... We're still a long way from even getting to 'adopt' the car, and if we do get that far, that's when the real work of raising money and finding 'helpers' will start.

I've got to admit though, this is one of those things I could get very fired up about!

Spirit Of Owl said...


jenbeauty said...

The world is indeed a small place!

Greg said...

Yep that was some fun museum...ya'll might think about seein' what help you might get from your "northern" neighbors on the project you are thinkin' about tackling....

Trevor Record said...

I guess it really is a small worl, eh?

In port-moody there is actually a train museum with several old trains and cabooses. The museum was basically an apology to Asians who came over here to work on the railway only to be paid half of what whites made and forced into the most dangerous positions.

Ilene said...

I just read the blog about your Mom. I think your comments made me realize how important it is to live my life and treat others every day the way I would if I knew it was their or my last day.
Blessing to your mother and you.

Bill said...

Jen - Yep, at times I'm amazed at how small it really is!

Greg - I think you had as much, if not more, fun than anyone!

I'm not sure exactly which northern neighbors you're referring to, unless it's the museum itself, and had I gotten to spearhead the project I'd definitely looked there for supprt too!

You know me, no stone unturned!!

Trevor - There's some truth to that belief, and I'm not saying the conditions were not deplorable, however, it was not just Asians.

It was also virtually any (poor)immigrant at the time, Asian, european, etc...

They took those dangerous jobs here, because, as bad as they were, they were better than staying where they'd been.

Laying "steel roads" throughout North America, was a very costly endeavor, in terms of lives, money and resources.

I doubt we could get it done if we were trying to start today. I wonder sometimes, if that's a good, or a bad thing.

Ilene - Thanks, that was what I was hoping folks would take away from that piece.

Thank you too for the well wishes for Mom... I hope to hear soon what the deal is there!

Comfort Addict said...

Wow. That's really exciting, Bill. I'll be very interested in your progress (I'm a trainiac, too).

Bill said...

CA - If I don't hear from someone next week I'm gonna be pretty bummed out... then again.. the last thing I *really* needed right now, was another project!!

My ex-wife used to say, if I didn't have stress, I'd create some!

'Trainiac'... I like it!