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Old 02-25-2011, 11:03 AM
Joe21 Joe21 is offline
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Default My Number Camem Up...... Part 2

OK, we've been home for two weeks to put everything in order and now we're heading back to Fort McPherson to become active military men. Our orders were to report to the Waycross Railroad depot early one morning to board our private AB&C RR WW1 vintage coach. I took the roll and, to my surprise, everyone was accounted for. There was a mob of people at the depot to see family members departing, There was, literally, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. The 35 of us boarded the coach. There was no air conditioning so up went the windows which allowed everyone to continue visiting until our departure.

The Draft Board officials had suggested to me during one of our meetings that I should lay down some rules re conduct during our journey. After much thought and just before our departure I called for their attention and told them there two rules, (1) If anyone departed the coach when we stopped at a depot,I expected them back in the coach when the train departed or they would be considered AWOL, and (2) no alcoholic beverages were to be in their possession when we arrived at Fort McPherson.

The conductor hollered "all aboard" and off went some of Ware County's "finest" to help make the world safe for democracy. As the smoke belching steam engine slowly left the depot everyone in the coach and those on the ground were hollering, waving, throwing kisses, weeping and, yes, there were a few smiles.

We had just left the depot when I looked back toward the rear of the coach and saw that one of the professed moonshiners was treating everyone to some of his pride and joy. He had scrounged some of those cone shaped paper cups at the depot in which to serve his guests. He offered me a drink but I made some lame excuse that I was ordered not to drink since I was in charge.

It wasn't long before we made our first stop. As soon as the train stopped, everyone in the coach got off toexplore the town and find a place that sold beer, wine and/or whiskey. A while later, the conduictor told me the train would be leaving in a few minutes and I would need to round up all the group and get them back on board. With the help of the train crew and a few in our group, we were able to locate everyone and get them aboard and off we went.

Realizing we were going to have a similar problem at each stop, the conductor and I decided to have the engineer blow the train whistle about two minutes before we were to leave.

By the time we arrived at the next stop, the moonshine was beginning to have it's effect. There was hooping and holering, along with loud laughter. Some were trying to sing but it sounded more like moaning than singing. When the train stopped, off went the men in every direction. When the two minute whistle warning was sounded, there were only about five of us in the coach. I asked them to help me round up the rest. We found everyone and it was apparent many had visited the local liquor store and purchased an assortment ofalcoholic beverages. Off we went with the old steam engine belching smoke and cinders that came ino the coach through the open windows.

After several more exciting stops, we arrived at the town where we were to have lunch. The Draft Board had made previous arrangements to have box lunches already prepared upon our arrival. The restaurant crew looked on in amazement at the motley crew who would soon be protectors of their freedoms. Frankly, the group did not present a picture that would .produce an air of confidence re their greatness on the battlefield.

Every stop was the same . Everyone got off to explore the town, everyone except those who were now feeling the effects of the moonshine and other beverages. But again, with the help of the train crew and a few that were still sober, we managed to get everyone back in the coach.

The smoke and cinders coming through the open windows began to show its effects. Several had cinders in their eyes and the sooty smoke had darkened our body and clothes. I was begining to think our appearnce would be sufficient cause for our rejection when we arrived in Atlanta. With the slow speed and frequent stops, it took us a long time to get to Atlanta. Fortunately, some of the drunks had time to sleep and were in a little better shape when we arrived in Atlanta than I had first imagined.

Later that night we finally arrived at the depot that served Fort McPherson. The Captain, who had seen us off two weeks earlier, was there to greet us. A bus also awaited us for transportation to the fort. the Captain looked on with an expression of disbelief and probably wondered how the military service would accept an apparent group of misfits such as this. I gave the Captain the paperwork entrusted to me and reported that all men were present and acounted for. He turned to me with a sly grin and said, "when you left here I thought you would be lucky to have half of them returning as directed".

The two rules I made at the beginning of the trip worked almost to perfection. No one was reported AWOL and no one had alcholic beverages (still in a bottle) in their possession when we arrived at Fort McPherson.

That, my fellow Americans, was a train ride I'll never forget.

Last edited by Joe21; 02-25-2011 at 11:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:44 PM
TigersN06 TigersN06 is offline
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Default Re: My Number Camem Up...... Part 2

awesome Joe. Thanks for your service by the way.

thought about writing a book? I'm ready for chapter 3!
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:20 AM
cubarb1991's Avatar
cubarb1991 cubarb1991 is online now
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Default Re: My Number Camem Up...... Part 2

Love love love it...would love to have been a fly on the wall on that train Mr. Joe
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