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Railroaders' Nostalgia > In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific


Date: 11/29/19 13:49
In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific
Author: roustabout

I was thrilled to have been hired by the Willamette & Pacific back in 1996.  Bob Melbo was our general manager and one hell of a guy, someone I am still proud to say that I worked for.  His having (as I remember) a degree in journalism, communication is one of his strong suits plus he is a railroader, dyed in the wool.  This note came with our paychecks in April of 1997 and letters like it lasted until the end of 2000 when he left (in early 2001) and was replaced.  No one has talked about the reason for his leaving and there are multiple rumors and stories but suffice it to say that it was a shock to us and to him, I'm sure.  The highlights of his letter, for me, was the last issue when he mentioned the wedding my wife and I had, using one of the company's loomotives and cabooses for our wedding.  I still have that and all of the other letters he wrote, one of things I treasure from my tenure there.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/19 13:50 by roustabout.




Date: 11/29/19 15:30
Re: In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific
Author: cewherry

roustabout Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "I was thrilled to have been hired by the
> Willamette & Pacific back in 1996.  Bob Melbo was
> our general manager and one hell of a guy, someone
> I am still proud to say that I worked for.  His
> having (as I remember) a degree in journalism,
> communication is one of his strong suits plus he
> is a railroader, dyed in the wool......" 

And, I would add a not quite in-the-closet rail buff.

When Bob and my late brother worked together at SP's City of Industry, Bob owned a Santa Fe baggage wagon, all wood
with green paint and steel wheels. He needed a place to store the relic and brother Bill offered it a long term home; in our
mother's driveway. She was a good sport about it and found it useful for placing some of her potted plants while Bob departed
southern California and left the wagon behind, waiting for the next section of the Chief.

Time took its inevitable toll, the green paint continued to fade and peel; only her passing and the ensuing estate sale brought
about its departure. A fellow agreed to move it the day of the sale, paid cash, and showed up in the darkness to load it onto his trailer.
I wonder if it exists today, still waiting for the Chief, no doubt. 

Charlie


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/19 15:24 by cewherry.



Date: 11/30/19 19:49
Re: In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific
Author: E25

Mr. Melbo was also a very pro-active supporter and facilitator of the SP #4449's mainline operations when he worked as Assistant Superintendent for Espee's Oregon Division.  I doubt that any of the post-American Freedom Train trips with the "Daylight" GS-4 would have taken place without his involvement.

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 12/03/19 23:40
Re: In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific
Author: asheldrake

and we are lucky that this rail historian is ODOT's Rail Planner.   Arlen



Date: 12/04/19 13:56
Re: In the land of Melbo, early days of the Willamette & Pacific
Author: ExSPCondr

Any chance of posting some more of the letters?



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