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Railroaders' Nostalgia > My most important day on the railway


Date: 04/11/24 17:17
My most important day on the railway
Author: tq-07fan

I had to look up the dates on all this.

Anyone alive in the United States at the time probably will remember the Bronco Chase, June 17 1994. My mom, dad, sister, and I were some of the 95 million people who watched one of the defining moments of the 1990’s. Of course, several months later the infamous OJ Simpson trial began.

In the ensuing months I realized college was not for me and got on with Sperry Rail Service. I started in July 1995 on a D-car testing Southern Pacific in Louisiana and Texas. In September I was transferred to a car testing the Conrail Pittsburgh Division. By that time the OJ trial had been going on for over a year and was part of everyday conversation. Did you think OJ did it? Like many in that era we watched the news in the evening and in the mornings in between setup and the railway taking us out for the day. The OJ trial got a lot of coverage increasing until the anticipated verdict day, Tuesday October 3rd 1995. That day OJ was the only topic, outside of working related matters. About midday the Chief Operator, Pauley Delaney told me I had the most important job I would ever do, I had to watch TV. Now I wasn’t supposed to watch any TV, I was to watch TV for the verdict so we could relay it to others. I watched for maybe and hour so and finally the verdict came down, not guilty. Not guilty!? I could not believe it, I knew no one in the back of the Sperry car would believe it so I had to make sure. I continued watching and finally the network reporter broke in with the microphone and repeated what me and probably thousands of others thought they had not heard correctly, Not Guilty.

That day we were testing the busy triple and quadruple track between Conway Yard and Pittsburgh. Lots and lots of trains so lots of radio chatter. I went to the back and said, “not guilty.” The Conrail Roadmaster and Pauley both yelled out in disbelief. Not guilty! Are you serious? I am, I even watched to make sure that was what they came down with. Pauley looked at the Roadmaster who opened his palm toward the radio receiver and nodded at Paul. Pauley picked up the receiver, pushed it in and simply said “Not Guilty.”

There was dead silence on the radio for a minute, then finally someone repeated it back, not guilty. It was such a big deal everyone listening knew exactly what not guilty was about. There were a several more transmissions then things went back to regular radio chatter.
I would leave Sperry for a shortline in 1998 then leave railroading completely to drive buses in 2001 but that day, watching the OJ verdict was probably my most important job of all my time working on time on the railway.

Jim



Date: 04/11/24 18:52
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: LocoPilot750

I was on some train out of Kansas City, headed for Wellington. We had a red signal for some reason at the west and of Mulvane, so the conductor dug out his little TV, picked up a Wichita station, and we watched the verdict as we sat there. Couldn't believe what we heard.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/11/24 21:14
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: PHall

IMHO the reason the verdict was Not Guilty was because during the closing arguements Deputy DA Darden talked down to the jury like they were school kids. Pissing off the jury is not the way to win a case.



Date: 04/12/24 11:14
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: alco244

my most important day on the rails, 12/16/2017, passing of hunter harrison, his ghost is still lingering, too bad his methods didn't die with him.



Date: 04/12/24 12:46
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: engineerinvirginia

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IMHO the reason the verdict was Not Guilty was
> because during the closing arguements Deputy DA
> Darden talked down to the jury like they were
> school kids. Pissing off the jury is not the way
> to win a case.

The prosecution absolutely failed on one hand...and the defense gave a performance worthy of their pay....and it paid off for OJ. In American jurisprudence, this can happen...and in order to prevent the prosecution of the innocent we have to allow it to happen. Of course the innocent do get prosecuted but one hopes they are acquitted; if not sooner then later. It's not my job to suppose whether OJ did it or not...the jury said Not Guilty and that was all that mattered. 



Date: 04/12/24 14:18
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: usmc1401

OJ never paid most of his lawyers.



Date: 04/12/24 16:43
Re: My most important day on the railway
Author: engineerinvirginia

usmc1401 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OJ never paid most of his lawyers.

So he got a double bargain!



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