Hot Off the Hoover … /
May 1, 1943, edition 1 /
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'flililiE OF THE "LC1'IG-TEjIEE?S" thr.t served together for rarjny yonrs vrere ZcUy Riviere,
engineer from I903 to 1917 j "STICIC" ELLIOTT novv retired, hc.ving vrorkod for 3A yer.rs
ctpxting out cs brrJceman, later became firomrji rxid' somotimos served as rui extra
engineorj also JOHJI lATTBdORE, the train conductor, who started with the road about
1903 and retired in the early part of the last deca.de, TSie tales of "Uncle Johnnj'-
Lattimore" \vould fill a book the length of "Gone ^7ith the ?/ind"—^he took great de
lict in e^ressing his contempt for such things a music, ball grjnes, and automobiles,
and we know, if he ;yero here' today, it ivould be of great interest (to men only) to
hear him express his unqutilfied disapproval of the discontinuation of the train in
favor of those "dnmn motor trucks.” "Uncle Johnny" had many pet dislikes, but among
some of the few things he loved were hio corn-cob pipe nnd his beloved little train,
Vi/hen the "three musketeers," above-mentioned, were young in service, it becfune
necessary to replace the tvjo v/ood-burner engines with a heavier locomotive, and after
some dickerin'. No, 1 aiid No, 2 were traded in for the THREE SPOT-~a second-hand.
Camel bad: tj-pe, v;ith a six v/heel drive; that was the road»s first coal-4)urner, but
it was unsatisfactory because of its daily habit of jumping the track. This brought
about the purchase of two spanldn' ne\v engines, built by the Vulcan Locomotive Works,
replete with ei^t-whuol drivers, airbrakes end all the latest fixings, and knovm
as No. 4 nnd 5. MAJOR SCHIiiNCK v/as on hand when No, A rj*rived in Shelby on two flat
cars, her engine on one car rnd her tender on mother. He expressed his satis
faction and pride, by exclaiming, "Dog-thundcr, but isn’t she a monster?"
SEMI-ANNUALLY, an excursion train was made up to accommodate the crowds from Lavm-
dale and Upper Cleveland ivho wished to attend the "Hoey contest" and take in the
annual circus. Piedmont high school, which was then a boarding school, always drew
capacity crovjds too on the little train when they had commencement exercies, which
always lasted a full week. At times like those, when the coaches and summer cars
;vore- filled, the problem of taking care of the "over-flov?" was solved by hooking on
several empty box-cars with improvised scats of cross-ties, and everybody was com
pletely and gloriously happy.
MANY PBDPLE CAME TO LAV/MDALS to see their first train and ifere not fazed by its
dwarf-liko proportions, but on the other hand v/oro greatly inpressed by its "immense"
size. The story gous, that in themrly days an overg own lad from the vicinity of
"Three Corners," who had hover traveled beyond a three milo radius of his home, crjne
vdth his father to Lawndale and was so impressed with the trrdn that he couldn't re
sist the opportunity of malcing the trip to Lawndale, an historical event in his lifej
ho bought a round-trip ticket to Shelby raid as he alighted from the train that srune
evening, with an nmazed expression on his face, his father was heard to ask, "Y/ell
son, v/hat all did you see?" The travel v/eary boy replied, "Well, pap, if the vrorld’s
as big up towards Morganton v;ay, as it is down yonder to Shelby—she sho* is a whopper,
ZOLLY RIVIERE gave up the job as engineer about 1917 rnd v;as replaced by B.B. TOLSON
who operated the train until his death in 19A1. B.B, as' he v?as affectionately knov/n
by his countless friends was succeeded by ODIS ROYSTER who made the last run on
THE DAYS ARE GCflE when the engineers of the little road vd.ll be subjected to humilat-
ing and be-littling comments by interested onlookers and v;ould-be hecklersj even the
youngsters often made their faces turn red, like the time v;hen the little freckle
faced kid at the Seaboard junction sidled up to B.B TJJIBON, and asked, "Mister, when
you get through with that thing, can I play with it av;hile, can I please?"
THE TRAIN CREW of the Seaboard railivay also enjoyed taking an occasional "crack" at
our little train. One day the "Junior-Mi:^" vfas stnnding by at the junction, waiting
a pass-order from the Seaborj^d freight, so she could continue her run into Shelby on
main-track, made possible by a third rail. The Big Freight did not have orders to
stop, but she pulled up-cny^/ay, the ongineor leaned out of the window of his cab end
3’-el.led to ZoUy Riviere, "Hoy, I haven't got all day, so if you want that thing to
'suck', bring her alongside and b€ quick about it,"
THEH THERE IS THE STORY of the old codgcr from "tother" side of Ben's Knob who walked
up to the train crew one day and pushing his hat on the back of his head, »lovred as
how, "I've alius heo»rd of Schenck's Dummy, but never seed it before"; then calmly
placing his "chmv ter-backer" where his jaw teeth should have been, he proceeded to
•t_on next nnbe^
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