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Railroaders' Nostalgia > 54 Years Ago for Me


Date: 05/01/23 08:39
54 Years Ago for Me
Author: ExStarlightHog

May 1, 1969 was the date I was put on the fireman's seniority roster for the friendly SP in San Francisco.  Seems to me it was on a red tag "goat" job somewhere in the City.  I couldn't even begin to guess who the engineer was that day.  The way they had seniority districts back then, I never would have guessed I'd end my career working the Starlight out of Sacramento.  Been retired over twelve years now.  Where has the time gone?  JVG   



Date: 05/01/23 11:11
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

Congratulations on enjoying 12 years of retirement may you have many more. I retired Aug 1st 2022 with 53 years of service with the SP. I always said after the UP take over..the worst day on the SP was always better than the best day on the UP.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/01/23 13:17
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: goldcoast

I agree, any day on the SP was by far and away better than anything UP had to offer.



Date: 05/01/23 16:51
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: johnw

I joined you on that same fireman's seniority roster 4 years and 3 months later J.V. I made my date on an afternoon goat in the city with Engineer "Junior" Nordgren, one of the really good guys on the SP. The working years went flying by and so have the retirement years, 21 of them for me now! I'd suspected, even hoped that time would slow down after retirement but that hasn't been the case at all, if anything it seems to have sped up. I'm not complaining though, some of our engine service brothers had far too few years of retirement, some not any at all. Life is good, keep those Railroad Retirement checks coming! Cheers to you and brother Mike!



Date: 05/01/23 20:21
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: CPCoyote

Congratulations JV. I was many miles away putting in my time for Uncle Sam.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/01/23 20:54
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: ApproachCircuit

I have you beat by two years! I hired out at 3rd and Townsend upstairs at the TM's office. I don't remember his name.
By the time you hired out, I was long gone to Bakersfield!
I remember a guy named "S.P' Grab. I think he worked around SF and S.J. plus some Sunset stuff..
In san Jose before the RR jobs, I would walk over rom the Nat'l Guard Armorey and ride with the commute hostlers; all steam!
A.P.



Date: 05/02/23 07:49
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: WAF

When you were 10 years old?



Date: 05/02/23 13:03
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

ApproachCircuit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have you beat by two years! I hired out at 3rd
> and Townsend upstairs at the TM's office. I don't
> remember his name.
> By the time you hired out, I was long gone to
> Bakersfield!
> I remember a guy named "S.P' Grab. I think he
> worked around SF and S.J. plus some Sunset
> stuff..
> In san Jose before the RR jobs, I would walk over
> rom the Nat'l Guard Armorey and ride with the
> commute hostlers; all steam!
> A.P.

SP Grab. His nickname was " Killer". He hired out on the SP LA Division in Los Angeles as a brakeman. Switched over to engine service on the SP. He transferred to the Coast Division and worked the Lompoc Local. He lived in SLO and went to Amtrak in 1986. Lost track of him. He always wore bib overalls and looked like Dennis the Meance. Steve lived with his sister and never had a refrigerator. He didn't like paying for the electricity. He would take home a large bag of ice and fill up his cooler. When I would have a long layover in SLO we would go to happy hour. When he worked the Lompoc local he had a GP 9 and before he found a home in SLO he lived on the engine. He spread out his sleeping bag on the cement block in the nose. Good to hear he settled in Arizona.

Posted from Android



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/23 22:43 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 05/02/23 13:10
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: ExStarlightHog

SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ApproachCircuit Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I have you beat by two years! I hired out at
> 3rd
> > and Townsend upstairs at the TM's office. I
> don't
> > remember his name.
> > By the time you hired out, I was long gone to
> > Bakersfield!
> > I remember a guy named "S.P' Grab. I think he
> > worked around SF and S.J. plus some Sunset
> > stuff..
> > In san Jose before the RR jobs, I would walk
> over
> > rom the Nat'l Guard Armorey and ride with the
> > commute hostlers; all steam!
> > A.P.
>
> SP Grab. He hired out on the LA Division in Los
> Angeles as a brakeman. Switched over to engine
> service on the SP. He transferred to the Coast
> Division and worked the Lompoc Local. He lived in
> SLO and went to Amtrak in 1986. Lost track of him.
> He always wore bib overalls and looked like Dennis
> the Meance.
>
> Posted from Android
Yes, I remember that look he had.  Seems to me he got mugged and beat up one night near the crew base in OAK by a couple of the local denizens.  As I recall, the "S" stood for Steve.  Never found out what the "P" stood for.  I don't think he ever said.   



Date: 05/02/23 15:02
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: johnw

SP Grab. He hired out on the LA Division in Los
> Angeles as a brakeman. Switched over to engine
> service on the SP. He transferred to the Coast
> Division and worked the Lompoc Local. He lived in
> SLO and went to Amtrak in 1986. Lost track of him.
> He always wore bib overalls and looked like Dennis
> the Meance.
>
> Posted from Android

Yeah that was S.P. Grab alright! Bib overalls and almost always with a big smile on his face. He seemed to survive on a diet of Coca-cola and potato chips! The last time I ran into him he was working an Amtrak Surfliner between LA and San Diego. Somebody said here on Trainorders that he later got a disability pension and settled in Arizona. He was quite a character, a fun guy to be around!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/23 21:43 by johnw.



Date: 05/02/23 15:08
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: RetiredHogger

12 years. Good for you brother. Keep drawing that check.



Date: 05/02/23 17:46
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: CPCoyote

I remember Steve Grab well. A good guy and a good rail, but definitely a unique individual.
His “grip” consisted of a plastic
shopping bag and his car was a big 1970 something sedan he called the Blue Bomber.
Always liked the guy. Hope he’s doing well. Wherever he is now, you can bet it’s near a RR track.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/03/23 16:38
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: HardYellow

Grabb loved those old high nose Jeeps at Anaheim. They called him "Killer." Why...I don't know.



Date: 05/03/23 17:31
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

HardYellow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Grabb loved those old high nose Jeeps at Anaheim.
> They called him "Killer." Why...I don't know.

Steve earned the nickname , Killer, because he was not intimidating in the leastway.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/04/23 12:53
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: ExStarlightHog

CPCoyote Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Congratulations JV. I was many miles away putting
> in my time for Uncle Sam.
>
> Posted from iPhone
How much of Germany do you remember?  I understand you spent a lot of your off-duty time in the beer halls. 



Date: 05/04/23 19:19
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: CPCoyote

ExStarlightHog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CPCoyote Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Congratulations JV. I was many miles away
> putting
> > in my time for Uncle Sam.
> >
> > Posted from iPhone
> How much of Germany do you remember?  I
> understand you spent a lot of your off-duty time
> in the beer halls. 

Yes, there were a few blank moments.



Date: 05/05/23 08:55
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: Exespee

Hired as an engine wiper at San Jose roundhouse in 1945.  Couldn't go firing until I was 18,  Made firing date later that year.
Promoted in 1955,  went to 65 Market in 1968 and retired in 1987.  Time does fly!  



Date: 05/06/23 12:16
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: Drknow

Exespee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hired as an engine wiper at San Jose roundhouse in
> 1945.  Couldn't go firing until I was 18,  Made
> firing date later that year.
> Promoted in 1955,  went to 65 Market in 1968 and
> retired in 1987.  Time does fly!  

My hat’s off to you brother. I got to work with some of the real Old Heads when I hired on in 97.

Hopefully I can enjoy a few years when I pull the pin. Meanwhile I’ll stay marked up and keep paying in.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/08/23 08:33
Re: 54 Years Ago for Me
Author: ExStarlightHog

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Exespee Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Hired as an engine wiper at San Jose roundhouse
> in
> > 1945.  Couldn't go firing until I was 18, 
> Made
> > firing date later that year.
> > Promoted in 1955,  went to 65 Market in 1968
> and
> > retired in 1987.  Time does fly!  
>
> My hat’s off to you brother. I got to work with
> some of the real Old Heads when I hired on in 97.
>
>
> Hopefully I can enjoy a few years when I pull the
> pin. Meanwhile I’ll stay marked up and keep
> paying in.
>
> Regards
>
> Posted from iPhone
Thank you for your continued contributions to our Railroad Retirement Fund.  We'll spend the money wisely.



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