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Railroaders' Nostalgia > SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza


Date: 04/26/19 18:32
SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: CR3

I just learned today that SP engineer John W. Rapoza passed away after suffering from esophagal cancer.  John spent a lot of years on the helpers between West Colton and Indio.  I worked with him off and on for about three years as a fireman.  He was known on the railroad for the poems he used to make up from the "Friendly Helper"  He used to send me a new poem every Christmas even after I retired in 2000  He was fun to work with and I will miss his letters.  He is survived by his wife, Carolyn and a daughter in the Western part of Virginia where he moved to after retirement.  I have no additional information at this time.

Ray Sugg



Date: 04/26/19 20:22
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: cewherry

I guess I’m getting really old. I worked with John as his outside hostler helper on various jobs at Taylor RH. He was always known as a “100 percenter” and a go to source for all things rules related. He also lived in Temple City, my hometown. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP John.

Charlie

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/28/19 08:29
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: HardYellow

John retired just before the Union Pacific took over in 1997. He never collected a UP check. John never had a bad mark on his railroad record. Once I was firing the Helpers for him. after running lite from PMT Spur (just east of W. Colton), we got in the clear at Indio and went across the street for breakfast. We had three big units, the middle one was the SP 7342 with the special paint scheme. John and I separated the units, put the 7342 in perfect light for a roster shot...even had the palm trees in the background. I took a whole role of 35mm slide film on the unit. The shot my have been published someplace. 



Date: 04/29/19 06:18
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: RRTom

Did Mr. Rapoza compose the poem about the helper crew who were instructed to call when they got somewhere, but were continually frustrated by the crew taxi, weather, train interference, etc?  I would be grateful if someone can find a link to that poem on TO because I can't.
RIP JWR



Date: 04/29/19 08:31
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: UPNW2-1083

RRTom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did Mr. Rapoza compose the poem about the helper
> crew who were instructed to call when they got
> somewhere, but were continually frustrated by the
> crew taxi, weather, train interference, etc?  I
> would be grateful if someone can find a link to
> that poem on TO because I can't.
> RIP JWR
I have a copy of John's hand written peom. It's entitled "Beaumont and Call". Here's all 5 pages of it.-BMT








Date: 04/29/19 08:32
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: UPNW2-1083

Parts 4 and 5.-BMT






Date: 04/29/19 09:05
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: HardYellow

I had all of John's writings. A few years back, I sent them all to John Signor to use for the SPH&TS.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/19 09:57 by HardYellow.



Date: 04/29/19 11:03
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: RRTom

UPNW2-1083 Wrote:

> I have a copy of John's hand written peom. It's
> entitled "Beaumont and Call". Here's all 5 pages
> of it.-BMT

Thank you UPNW2-1083 !
-Tom



Date: 04/29/19 16:32
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: bluehen

Amazing. Thanks for sharing. What a great story...RIP sir...



Date: 05/02/19 02:17
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: mundo

 A nice change of pace here on TO.

Thanks, Ed



Date: 05/03/19 05:59
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

John was definitely a poet. remember working with him when I first hired out. Two engineers with similar names that were both characters. Rapoza and Rogoza !

Posted from Android



Date: 05/03/19 22:15
Re: SP Engineer J.W. Rapoza
Author: bradleymckay

Wasn't he also a model railroader? Me seems to think he was, at one point in his life anyway.

Allen

Posted from Android



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