NORTHERN PACIFIC, SERENE


I walked past the NP depot one day --
Heard the telegraph rattle and the steam engine moan,

Aware that Neil McKillips and his railroading father
Worked for the Route of Yellowstone,

I saw the old order board was laying on green,
Tho I knew not the meaning of the thing,

Then and there I decided to pursue a career
Where the oil stove whispers and the crossing bells ring,

They also serve, who timetable in hand
Await a white-signaled extra train,

Using lever-set watches with Arabic numerals --
Handing up orders, sunshine or rain,

It intrigued me no end -- they could read dots and dashes,
To me it was just hen scratching,

I felt drawn toward mastering that ancient skill,
Little-knowing that the fever was catching,

The rest is just history -- an entrée to communications --
Beginning of a lifelong career,

From railroading to the Army -- then a radio operator --
Circumnavigated the world and retired here.

                                     by D. Edgar Murray 03/28/2000.