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Steam & Excursion > If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us?


Date: 05/28/14 04:24
If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us?
Author: LoggerHogger

The photographer who came across this little Shay sleeping away her days in her engine shed had to wonder, what stories could she tell us?

Would she start by bragging about her trip down the Lima factory floor as she was assembled in amongst larger Shays? Or would she tell us about being loaded out on the Lima yard track as she watched huge Lima rod engines being readied for shipment as well.

Maybe she would talk about the day her new owner took delivery of her and the traveling Lima representative hooked up her lineshafts and gave instructions to her proud crew on how she operates. She would certainly tell us of the Sunday's that her engineer would come down to see her in Camp and bring his daughter and wife to help him polish her bell and wipe down her jacket. Once they even posed on her running board for snapshots.

She would tell us of being sold a few years later to another logging outfit and move there to run only to have that process repeated 3 more times in her career. She would tell us how at one camp her regular engineer quit and the logging boss had a donkey operator volunteer to take over for the day. It was on this day he let her lose her brakes on the way to the mill and she tipped off the rails destroying her factory cab and smokestack. She then tells us of the weeks it took to get her repaired and and a new and quite crude cab and smokestack built for her.

Finally she tells us of the day she was backed into this shed at the end of her day and left for the next morning's run that never came. As we pause she tells us that no one ever came back to fire her up and she never knew why. She says she has good flues and plenty of meat on her tires.

She does not know how many years now she has been sitting here waiting for another work day to start with a hostler coming to light her off and a crew to board her and take her to the woods once again. She misses those days.

For now she waits. She is appreciative of the man with the camera who stopped by to take her portrait. She wisher her bell had been polished and that her number plate was still there so she looked her best. Soon he is gone and she goes back to waiting. She wonders what her future holds.



Martin



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/14 04:41 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 05/28/14 04:51
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: Keystone1

Nice writing Martin. You have a book in you, and we both know it. I've been suggesting for years that your outstanding picture collection get published. And you are a good writer too, with tons of information. Any chance?



Date: 05/28/14 07:04
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: KMiddlebrook

"I'm tired."



Date: 05/28/14 07:28
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: tomstp

Martin: just one thing. Whatever did happen to her?



Date: 05/28/14 08:22
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: LJGross

Very evocative....nice!



Date: 05/28/14 11:41
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: thefracturedfrog

"This really grinds my gears"??????

-Froggie



Date: 05/28/14 11:56
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: jbbane

She would say, "Sure wish I'd been born a Heisler".......



Date: 05/28/14 12:25
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: rev66vette

Get me outta here!!!!!!!



Date: 05/28/14 23:58
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: powhatanfan

"The Giving Shay"

(With apologies to Shel Silverstein, author of "The Giving Tree"... and a nod to LoggerHogger for all his terrific photos and history lessons)

Once there was a Shay. And she loved her engineer. And every day the engineer would come and shine her bell and climb on her footboards and run off into the forest with her to haul logs back to the mill. And the engineer loved the Shay very much. And the Shay was happy.

But time went by. And the Shay got older. And one day a diesel arrived. And the Shay got tucked into a shed beside the shops. The engineer went off to the forest with the diesel every day. And the Shay was often alone.

Then one day the engineer came to the Shay, and the Shay said, "Come and shine my bell and climb on my footboards and take me into the forests and be happy." But the engineer said, "I don't have time for that. The boiler in the shop is broken, and we can't get our work done. Can you fix a boiler?" And the Shay said, "I'm sorry, I can't fix a boiler. But I can make steam. Pipe my steam into the shop so that you can get your work done and you will be happy." And so the engineer piped steam from the Shay into the shop. And the Shay was happy.

But the engineer stayed away for a long time... and the Shay was sad. Then one day the engineer came back, and the Shay shook until her relief valves popped and she said, "Come, engineer. Shine my bell and climb on my footboards and take me into the forests and be happy." But the engineer said, "I don't want to do that. I need to get more logs, but our diesel and log cars are in bad shape. Can you get me new power and rolling stock?" "I can't do that," said the Shay. "But I have bearings and fittings and couplers and lots of other ancillary equipment. Take that and modify it so that you can fix the diesel and log cars. Then you will be happy." And so the engineer scavenged what he could off the Shay to keep his log train rolling. And the Shay was happy.

But again the engineer stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the Shay was so happy she could hardly speak. "Come, engineer," she whispered through her now cold boiler, "come and take me into the forests". "The forests are gone," said the engineer. "The good timber, anyway. They're tearing down the mill and ripping up the tracks. And I don't know what I'm gonna do now. I need money. Can you give me money?" "I don't have any money," said the Shay. "But I have lots of steel. Sell my steel so that you can have money... and be happy." And so the engineer kept the builder's plates and sold the rest to a scrapper, who came in and cut the Shay up and hauled it away. And the Shay was happy... but not really.

And as the scrapper drove off, the smokestack of the Shay toppled off his truck and came to rest between the gauge. And there it sat for many lonely years, as the forest grew back up around it.

And then one day, finally, the engineer came back again. "I am sorry, engineer," said the Shay, "but I have nothing left to give you. My bell is gone." "I am too tired to shine a bell," said the engineer. "My footboards are gone," said the Shay. "You cannot climb on them." "I am too old to climb on footboards," said the engineer. "I am sorry," sighed the Shay. "I wish that I could give you something... but I have nothing left. I am just an old smokestack. I am sorry."

"I don't need very much now," said the engineer. "I really just need something to hold up my mailbox." "Well," said the Shay, straightening herself up as best she could, "an old smokestack is good for holding up a mailbox. Take me home with you, engineer, and let me hold up your mailbox." And the engineer did. And the Shay was happy.

The End



Date: 05/29/14 05:17
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: LoggerHogger

That was great! Thanks for this. You must have remembered my mailbox!

Martin




Date: 05/29/14 11:23
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: kingman

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That was great! Thanks for this. You must have
> remembered my mailbox!
>
> Martin

Is that the real underground railroad?



Date: 05/29/14 15:12
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: roustabout

Martin,
So where was this?



Date: 05/29/14 15:53
Re: If This Old Shay Could Talk, What Would She Tell Us
Author: nycman

Youse guys are getting good with this prose and poetry thing. I was thinking about your mailbox at the end of that tale, and by gosh there it is. Nice words from both of you.



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