trains

 

trains 042-001

My dad, Don Dee Pontius, worked for the railroad in the 1900s when trains were a main source for transporting materials.

trains 012

Dad loved his job but as transportation evolved they continued to downsize the railroad and jobs so he ended up spending many years as a factory foreman.

trains 007

His heart was always wrapped around the trains.

trains 039-001

His children, grand children and even great grand children know some hand signs.

trains 037-001

Dad would toot the car horn with the train whistle patterns and tell stories about his travels.

trains 014

In the springtime they would slow down through the countryside and watch for mushrooms.  If they saw a good bunch they would back up the train and pick those critters.

trains 010

He carried an old leather grip and would have Necco candy for us when he came home.

trains 018 trains 019-001

We lived three houses away from the railroad track.

trains 024

Some of our summer fun was to run down to the track when a train was coming and we would throw rocks and nuts into the open train cars.

trains 025

There was a hobo camp not far from the house.  Sometimes hobos would knock on the door and ask for something to eat. 

trains 034

Mom would give them food and find some good God literature to give them to read.  The hobos would mark the house with an X and tell others about houses that would help them.

trains 040-001

Times have changed.  I live in a different state but two of the towns we have lived in have been big railroad towns. 

trains 026-001

Jimmy pastors two churches every Sunday morning.  He has to cross the tracks going and coming to services. 

trains 044

The only trick is beating the train between the two services.

One of dad’s favorite songs was Life is Like a Mountain Railway

http://youtu.be/ZuJhEG1U0HY  This is Patsy Cline’s version,  

Life is like a mountain railway,
With an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful,
From the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels;
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.


Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will roll up grades of trial;
You will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your conductor
On this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction,
Do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

    Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
    Till we reach that blissful shore,
    Where the angels wait to join us
    In Thy praise forevermore.

You will often find obstructions,
Look for storms and wind and rain;
On a fill, or curve, or trestle
They will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus,
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

As you roll across the trestle,
Spanning Jordan’s swelling tide,
You behold the Union Depot
Into which your train will glide;
There you’ll meet the Sup’rintendent,
God, the Father, God the Son,
With the hearty, joyous plaudit,
“Weary Pilgrim, welcome home.”

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

 

The origin of this song is murky. Eliza R. Snow may have written the original lyrics, with M. E. Abbey (a Baptist minister in Georgia in the 1890s) supplying the chorus. There is a similar poem/hymn by Snow, called “Truth Reflects upon Our Senses,” which Tillman put to this same tune in 1909.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “trains

  1. I smiled while I read, remembering your dad. The hobos stopped at our house too. Thanks for reminding me of how it was.

    • Hi Carolyn. We were as you would say on the same tracks different location. The round house was always fun and….Renee Cook didn’t know VW had hobos. Just didn’t live close enough to the tracks. A great way to spend your childhood. Lood how good we turned out.

    • Lots of good memories. We used to sit on his lap in the rocker while he sang “I’ve been working on the railroad” and mom fried chicken after church. It’s been decades since she’s fried chicken. That’s probably a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: