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      jem1204@sbcglobal.net

(And a little info about Mercyville)

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Railroad Memories from Nelba

Hello Panthers & Pantherettes, 

My brother Charlie has some old albums that I am starting to sort through as time allows...gleaning photos of interest.  Included were photos Charlie took in 1981 of Santa Fe trains near Elmer, MO. These photos have been under plastic sheets, in old albums, kept in various places temperature wise, so quality isn't always the best...but for me, the MEMORY is there and that is most important.  I think ALL of us who grew up in, or near Elmer, or were family or friends who visited Elmer...we can't hardly associate living or being in Elmer without thinking of the "sound" and "passing" of the Santa Fe trains 24/7 in our lives.  They were just part of the daily routine in our lives.  I think back now of how most of the time I didn't even hear them consciously when they passed through, although I only lived a couple blocks from the tracks for many years. 

Mick West, if you are reading this, remember how we would walk downtown many afternoons as kids and wait for the Santa Fe mail train to throw the sack of mail, and pick up the sack leaving Elmer via the hook?  George Van Dyke was the fellow who picked up the sack morning and evening and took to the post office.    We would then wait until Nellie Johnson and Daphne Howerton sorted and placed the mail in our box and take it home.  We got mail twice a day back then...very fast for the times! 

My first train ride was when I was probably 8 to 10 years old.  The doodle-bug passenger train stopped going east and west daily.  I went to Laplata with Josie Bailey, and it cost me 35 cents, round trip if I remember correctly.  I was so excited to board the train and have the Conductor come by and take our ticket.  We bought our ticket from Mr. Cochran (spelling) at the Elmer Depot.  Josie was going to Laplata for the day to get her hair done and asked me to go with her.  We walked from the Laplata station to downtown where we spent the day and I got to eat lunch at a local restaurant.  In my mind back then, I felt like I was going to "the BIG city", ha!  It was a fun day in my young life. 

Many in our town worked, or were connected to the Santa Fe Railroad...it was a "way of life" and put food on the table and a roof over heads and clothes on the body.  The "good old days"...:-) 

Maybe these photos will bring back a memory of two for some of you.  If any of you would like to share, please do.  It motivates me to "keep on keepin on'..