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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch


Date: 01/15/23 07:59
Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: WAF

It was a Saturday morning. The night before on this site, I was in a battle with someone who was "JLY" He kept saying I was wrong with my info, yet due to my excellent record keeping and memory, Bill was wrong and he didn't admit it. Saturday morning when I logged onto this site, there was a red "private message. It was from this guy "JLY"

" How do you know so much about the Southern Pacific. You must have known WM Jones ( the Western Div). You must know this person and that person. "Where did you work on the SP" You stole records from  the SP ( train order books) And so on and so on. About a page of this stuff. Well, Wes, welcome to the world of John William Lynch. By the end when Bill got very frail and left TO, I could count him as a true friend and he trusted me with info about the SP, his life, stories about DJR, stuff he wouldn't post because nobody understood it or just wanted to fight about something. He gave me the complete story of the Easter week blizzard of 1982. He stopped posting the story on TO because of "those train nuts know nothing" He certainly had a thing for "train nuts". In the end when I asked him about that comment, he said, "Wes, I'm a train nut, a plane nut, a gun nut, car nut"

I met Bill once in person at the SP H&TS when he was guest speaker. I couldn't pass up that invite from Scott Inman. Bill gave a great and entertaining speech. His memory at 90 was impeccable. He was frail by then, life was catching up with him. He introduced me to his family and grandkids. I loved the way his oldest daughter called him "Pops" We didn't have a lot of time that night, but he pushed by people who wanted to talk to him. He told people " I'm going over to talk with this young fella" It was a confession of sorts. He started out "Wes, I just couldn't understand why we fought so much on TO. I told him him, "we just had to agree to disagree, that's all. He loved to kid me about the fact that I had a picture of everything with a date on it. He told me personally, that working for the SP was fun, but in later years, "they just pushed you so hard, you couldn't keep up with the questions. They just wore you down like it was a game"

Part of his speech that night, he had a slide show of many photos of disasters he worked on. He had an "official portrait" by DJ Russell on his Polaroid camera he always carried on inspection trips. This photo had to be in the mid sixties after he was division engineer on the Sacramento Div. He came to a photo and stopped. It was a photo of me on a horse jumping at a horse show He said "Who is this? He's here tonight"?. No one had a clue. Finally I got up and said "Guilty" That got an nice applause.

Scott wanted to take Bill and I over Donner Pass. We hoped it would bring a day of stories.  We never got to it, but it would have been fun.

Bill didn't want to live to be 94. He told me 90 was old enough for him. His birthday was New Years Eve

RIP, Bill. My friend, I got to know too late



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/23 14:30 by WAF.



Date: 01/15/23 12:15
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: Zephyr

Thanks for this memorable reflection Wes!  Bill was correct.  Us "train nuts" know nothing, but we sure kept the SP team together and did much with little. 



Date: 01/15/23 14:28
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: Copy19

He contacted me on TO to help me with some detail on a local train I had identified as the Truckee local, but actually was called "The Turn" by railroaders.   After that we exchanged notes now and then.  He even invited me to stop and visit him the next my wife  and I were in California, but unfortunately we never got together.

JB - Omaha  

 



Date: 01/15/23 14:32
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: WAF

Copy19 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> He contacted me on TO to help me with some detail
> on a local train I had identified as the Truckee
> local, but actually was called "The Turn" by
> railroaders.   After that we exchanged notes now
> and then.  He even invited me to stop and visit
> him the next my wife  and I were in California,
> but unfortunately we never got together.
>
> JB - Omaha  
>
>  It was the Truckee Local out of Sparks and at the end it was a Turn out of RV still called the Truckee Local



Date: 01/15/23 15:02
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: WAF

One question that railfans ask, "How did Jim Mahon get the nickname "Bear" As I told you, Bill was very honest with me and trusted me. So I too asked him that  question and here is his answer

"Mahon and I were working on a CTC project that called for make long sidings outside of S an Joaquin valley towns where trains would not distrub traffic during meets. I was the engineer on that part of the project and Mahon was foreman. This was about 1962. One day, Mahon comes up to me in a huff and asks where so and so was? Appartently he didn't follow Mahon's instructions about something. I pointed to some guy maybe a city block away. Mahon yells to the top of his voice " come back here you son of a bitch( whatever his last name was) and Mahon takes off after him at a dead run. This guy sees Mahon coming with smoke out of his ears and starts running too. If you ever saw a picture of Jim Mahon, he could hold his own in a bar fight. Off goes Mahon and I turn to another suopervisor watching this and I said " there goes Jim, madder than a Bear" Mahon the next year became the section foreman at Truckee



Date: 01/15/23 16:01
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: cewherry

Was Bill, JWL, related to a Western Pacific Superintendent, J. F. Lynch ?  A question I've wondered for years but never asked.
WP Supt. Lynch was shown on their employee timetable #1, Eff. May 2, 1965. 

Charlie
 



Date: 01/15/23 17:06
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: PHall

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Was Bill, JWL, related to a Western Pacific
> Superintendent, J. F. Lynch ?  A question I've
> wondered for years but never asked.
> WP Supt. Lynch was shown on their employee
> timetable #1, Eff. May 2, 1965. 
>
> Charlie
>  

Father and son.



Date: 01/15/23 17:30
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: WAF

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> cewherry Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Was Bill, JWL, related to a Western Pacific
> > Superintendent, J. F. Lynch ?  A question I've
> > wondered for years but never asked.
> > WP Supt. Lynch was shown on their employee
> > timetable #1, Eff. May 2, 1965. 
> >
> > Charlie
> >  
>
> Father and son.
When Bill made Sacramento division superintendent in 1986, his dad told him the SP was getting hard up when they promoted him. His brother was a division engineer in San Francisco GO. Before that, division engineer with RLK on the Western Division in the mid 60s when Bill was on the NWP. Bill sent me a picture of all his SP- WP brothers plus his dad at Christmas



Date: 01/20/23 18:53
Re: Tribute to JWL or JLY, more importantly Bill Lynch
Author: donnerpass

I just spoke with Jim Mahon who verified the story on how he got the name Bear.



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