WHY HE DOESN’T FIRE STEAMERS ANYMORE!
He worked at a train museum,
Where folks could come and see him…
‘Twas all volunteer
For many a year,
They’d come special days and he’d treat them.
The museum had an 0-4-0T,
They fired up especially…
One summer to run
Back and forth in the sun,
It filled all the train fans with glee.
In order to run Number Twelve,
Each fan had a chance to delve…
Into its operation
And get the sensation
Of running a steam loco well.
They started to stoke the fire-box,
The coal by shoveling blocks…
Of coal through the door
And not on the floor,
Of the loco, without missing spots.
Others took turns as engineer,
To blow the steam whistle to hear…
Most guys liked to fire
In July, perspire,
The best fun they’d had that year.
Until our hero took over,
He spilled coal shovelfuls on the floor…
The firebox got
Too much to be hot,
His coordination was poor!
Generosity among friends,
Makes up for one’s short ends…
The guys agreed
That he’d run the steed,
To whit, the iron horse to defend!
They showed me the Johnson bar,
The throttle (we couldn’t go far)…
How to “lap” the brake
And for safety’s sake,
How to run without shaking train cars.
Me and Number Twelve got on fine,
Going up and down the line…
A couple hundred feet
Back and forth to complete,
But as fireman I had to resign!
(Photo of #12, taken at the TIOGA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM, at Flemingville, NY, where I volunteered many moons!)