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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Rubber bands and tobacco


Date: 04/04/20 14:59
Rubber bands and tobacco
Author: Shafty

When I hired out at the Union Pacific in 1955 tobacco smoke often hung heavy in the Yard Office. 

Mirch Fox, the PFE Clerk, reportedly over 65 but still working, smoked cigars that even the cigar smokers did not like.  Later, for his health, his doctor persuaded him to quit smoking.  From then on he furiously chewed gum. 

I don't remember the Yardmaster's name any more, but he smoked pipe tobacco that smelled terrible to one and all.  No one ever figured out what he was smoking. 

Being young and foolish, my specialty became chopping up rubber bands and adding them to tobacco.  Everyone soon learned not to leave their tobacco unattended. I added some rubber bands to the tobacco of a college kid that was on the railroad for the summer and did not know about taking precautions with his tobacco.  His pipe did not smell very good by the end of the shift, and worse when he came back that night.  To protect us from the burnt rubber smell I told him what I had done.  He said, "So that is what happened."  He went on to say that when he stopped to get gas the gas station attendant smelled something burning on the car, but neither one of them could find anything wrong. 

Another time Jack Hunter said that I had never put rubber bands in Eddie Brien's tobacco.  I told Jack that Eddie did not have any sense of humor and it would be safer not to add any chopped up rubber bands.  Jack convinced me that he would not tell anyone.  So I did.  Several weeks later when we three were working together again, with the utmost nonchalance, Jack mentioned to Eddie that he had not seen his pipe lately.  My heart about stopped.  Eddie said that the pipe had not tasted very good lately.  Then I had to keep from laughing.  Eddie left the railroad a couple of years later, and Jack died a few years after that, taking the rubber band secret with him to the grave. 

Eugene Crowner



Date: 04/04/20 16:26
Re: Rubber bands and tobacco
Author: trainjunkie

Outstanding!



Date: 04/04/20 17:07
Re: Rubber bands and tobacco
Author: retcsxcfm

Now that IS FUNNY!

Uncle Joe



Date: 04/05/20 01:25
Re: Rubber bands and tobacco
Author: aronco

I've heard stories about putting fusee powder (just a bit tho) in the conductor's pipe while he dozed, but the rubber bands?  Whew!

 

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



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