WHEN SP&S 700 RULED


It was April twenty-first of two thousand one --
Northern Pacific depot in Ritzville.

Morse Telegraph Club had Vibroplexes in place --
Keys, sounders and a Ham rig as well.

There seemed to be no dearth of telegraphic traffic --
Many to or from Grandma and Grandpa.

Each writer had his own unique description of the setting --
Some visitors' eyes popped when vintage cars they saw.

Some two hours late, after modern trains had passed
We all heard an earsplitting blast.

A modern diesel unit had the vintage train in tow --
Some felt but dared not seem to be downcast.

It was not the biggest steamer that SP&S ever had --
I still remember one from another poem.

But this surviving engine -- we knew its number and name --
Was impressive enough to tell the folks back home.

Our Amateur wizard -- a friendly gent named Don
Took some time to show a boy how to send.

The skill was quickly learned -- a few basic letters.
We hoped the lad's thirst for Morse would never end.

It has been known to fail -- reliving past glory.
Sometimes the memory is more impressive than the real.

But no one can ever tell us that 700 is not a winner --
Ground shaking beneath our feet we'll always feel.

by D. Edgar Murray 04/22/2001.