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Railroaders' Nostalgia > East LA Crest Comedian

Date: 07/07/19 12:43
East LA Crest Comedian
Author: Ivar

With all of the shaking going on lately in S. California, I was reminded of a night when I was a brand new switchman at UP’s East Yard in Los Angeles in 1999.
There was a big earthquake (7.5) out in the desert near Ludlow sometime after midnight. I was taking a westbound shove up track 202-114 towards Spence St.
The night Yardmaster, Mike Shierant, came over the yard channel and broadcast “Earthquake.....everyone stop your move”, or something to that effect. We immediately stopped and I could see several, sporadic blue flashes off in the distance (probably electrical transformer’s popping due to the shaking). It was a very surreal moment as I looked back at our cut of cars swaying in “the breeze”.
It was just about this time that I remembered my wife, 8 months pregnant, at home with my 3 year old daughter. I knew that the quake was far enough away as to not cause any major damage at our house in the San Gabriel Valley, but as anyone from So. Cal will tell you, they can still stress you out!
So once the shaking stopped, I radioed “the crest” and asked Mike to call my house when he had a chance, and see if everything was ok. He said he would.
After several minutes, the radio crackled back to life “Crest to the LA 31”.........I answered, tentatively, “go ahead”......”Hey John..........congratulations...............it’s a boy!!”
I laughed a nervous laugh, over the radio. He was kidding, of course, and everything was fine at home, but in the middle of the night, in a dark railroad yard, just after a good shake, I was a bit vulnerable.
By the way, we did have a boy about a month later.

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Date: 07/08/19 04:37
Re: East LA Crest Comedian
Author: trainjunkie

Mike is good people. I worked with him before he became a YM. Deadpan humor. I can picture him doing this.

Date: 07/08/19 14:31
Re: East LA Crest Comedian
Author: tomstp

Good story.

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