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Just Me And My Old Boxcar

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

A true American icon.

A true American icon.

I don't know which was more exciting, the dreaming or the riding. Someday I will arrive at the answer. But for a little while I just want to look back, although it's from my imagination, and see what it might be like to ride all alone in an old boxcar. This might be fun, a thought kept teasing me. I had fought the temptation to leave my reality and just go--to a place where freight trains go and stop and see if I might board an old deserted boxcar.

There's not that big of a call today for wooden boxcars. Steel took care of that. And I still hate the change. Some things, in my view, should be left alone. The way that life intended it to be from the time it was built, used up, and now resting comfortably in the shade of some majestic oak in this huge train yard outside of Chicago.

I despise the notion that mortals are helpless up to a point. I thought I was that way until I jumped from a railroad (that ran in a small town) into an empty boxcar. Pure jubilation! Just so sit quietly alone on this lone bale of hay and watch the landscape beginning to blur. Guess I am not that smart to love such things, but I can only me what I am.

I haven't any friends here. Just me and my old boxcar.

Sitting alone waiting to fake away.

Sitting alone waiting to fake away.

The boxcar that I'm riding in is not in good shape. The wood in the walls are splintered and the door is shaky, probably used for years before it was "put out to pasture," as it were. Now it can only stay hooked-up and without a sound, go with some other strange, younger boxcar and go to God knows where. No wonder that I can barely hear someone snubbing as people do when they try to contain their crying. It was sad.

I once was a squared-off guy. Went to work and other places without causing one ounce of rebellion. I wore the clothes of a common laborer and was happy up to a point. But many times, people such as myself, can only swallow so much of beng put inside a little cubicle and doing a certain number of things all for someone else, and I tell you. It gets old. As my great grand parents were prone to say, I've had a belly full of this junk!

My grand parents did not fear but one thing: God. As for the Federal and local government, they could have cared less. Right now, I am thinking about my grand parents and how they used to work without talking. Things in the workplace have surely changed. Time was in the lae 1940's, where a big auto plant was located on every corner in Detroit, MI., the men talked before, during, and after work. Not in these modern times. If workers today should say more than a dozen words, some stiff-necked, tie-wearing geek with a clamp board stands and glares at them until they are good and humiliated. I ask you. Is this any way to run a company?

No, it is not. But today's structured workforce and management are operating by the Power is Gain Mindset. The more power, the more property sold or gained. And here I sit humming my favorite tune, "Waitin' For a Train," recorded by the Father of Country Music: Jimmie Rodgers. I love him for what and whom he stood for. Sure wish that he were with me in this boxcar that is givig off a ton of noises, but I do not care. I am not settled to where I formerly lived. I live here. In this smelly, noisy boxcar and how blessed I am.

I haven't any friends here. Just me and my old boxcar.

Some "palaces" are slow while others are fast.

Some "palaces" are slow while others are fast.

There is just something about a boxcar running on the steel rails on a summer night with the fireflies going up to the atmosphere and knowing that the boxcar in which I am riding, will not end-up in any place where I have been. It's just a peaceful notion--watching the various farmlands pass swiftly by while I fight the urge to sleep here in this old boxcar.

I have to wonder. Maybe this boxcar was once used by a powerful cattle baron in Oklahoma and rented nine boxcars to ship his prize catle to Texas and some in Kansas. Cattle barons are very rich. Most were once cattle drovers, or their great grandpa was, and he, the baron, learned the ropes from him and his business mind saw the fleeing opportunity and he took it. The opportunity was getting into the cattle producing. Me? No. I just worked at a few man-made jobs and never grew rich. I never entertained the thought of raising cattle. I should have.

I might as well stand up for those who didn't have the means to speak-up as men or women. Of course, I am talking about "Bo's" (e.g. hobos) who rode the rails (like I am now) to find work so they could feed their families, but in any case when folks who haven't anything, are somehow the target of high-thinking police types who kept the hobos down. And I mean down. The "bulls," as they were called, where ruthless men. They beat the hobos and caused many of them to meet death from being thrown from the train where they rode or suffering major injuries just because they did not have money enough to ride in the passenger cars.

As I think of the "bulls," in current time, I find myself not having a use for any of them. Sure. The hobos as well as the "bulls" were only looking for work or doing the job that a "bull" was given by the wealthy railroad owners, but did they, the "bulls," have to hurt their fellow man for just the opportunity of hurting an innocent person? I think not.

But I am only one man. With one brain and having my own thoughts, but I pray to God that our country will never be faced with the Crash of '29 putting thousands out of work and doing like my friends the hobo's--who rode the rails in search of a job. No, sir. I hope that there is no such creature as the railroad "bulls" who obviously had no soul. I wish that I had the capacity of loving these "bulls," but I don't. Maybe I will one day.

So until that one day comes, I will be content riding in this shabby old boxcar and hope that where I end-up will be a pleasant locale.
God bless you, hobos. Sorry that you were treated worse than animals.

July 03, 2021_________________Have a Happy, Safe Fourth of July___________

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© 2021 Kenneth Avery

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