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The Ol' # 98

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Old Sante Claus

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Each year, My Brother Joe and I meet in Germany. We take ten days or so to just travel Germany and the surroundings countries. We have revisited the areas where our Father served in World War II. He was in Eight Major Campaigns which gives us a lot of countries to cover. We have visited Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxemberg. Each, a beautiful country in itself, with its own stories.

In the time I have been in Republic of Kosovo, I have had the ability to travel through out almost all of Europe, North Africa, and Turkey, located on two continants.

Our travels have transended the closeness of our youth into the feebleness of our old age. Onlookers and Passers By may think we are of Feeble Mind. Standing on the edge of a track, watching for the signal change waiting for the Cross Arms to drop, and the loud rushing wind of the ICE (Inter City Express) as it passes, snapping photos as fast as the shutter will fly. ICE which goes from Frankfurt, Germany to Paris, France travels 320 km/h once it hits the border of France. High line poles and landscape look like a blur.

Joe is more than an avid train man, he is EAT UP with trains, planes, and cranes. Age 4-5 we visited our Grandmother who lived in New Orleans on Walnut Street. Within a block or so there was a train yard, switching yard, spur. Cain would take Joe to see the trains. Branded into his young mind was the very image of steel track, trains, sights, sounds, smell, maybe even taste for the massive chunks of metal driven steam, coal, and diesel engines. Fascinated until today we travel in search of the Ol # 98.

Our favorite location for watching, photographing, and videos, is the Rheine and Mosel River of Germany. There is a tremendeous amount of train traffic on both sides of the rivers, scenic landscapes, castels, vineyards, and of course plenty of German Food. I could never describe the Sights, Sounds, Wonders, and Emotions we have experienced on these trips. They renew your Spirit and Soul!

I created a poem for my Brother Joe, about Trains, entitled The Ol'#98,

The Ol’ #98

By James E. Webber

Christmas is over

And, Oh what a shock!

Santa has to get

More trains in stock.

New Locomotives for

My brother Joe,

Coal Cars, Gondolas,

Trains from B&O.

Red Caboose, Toulouse,

Trains out in the snow.

Waiting for the moment,

To see the trains go.

Trains of every color,

Trains of every kind.

Standing on the overpass,

Hear the engines whine.

Trestles, and Vessels,

Tunnels in the rain,

Vistas with silos,

Joe’s picture by the train.

Circus cars, Cattle Cars,

Over Head Cranes.

Spent the whole day,

Waiting on the trains.

CSX, which ones next,

Trains on every spur.

Triple Track, Circle back,

Mark down where they were?

East Bound, West Bound,

Watch for every signal.

A whistle blows and there she goes,

A train goes up the middle.

Freights that haul, in every stall,

And Trains that haul the loot.

Extra Wides, Double Sides,

Cutting Yards to Boot.

Freight trains, Pullmans,

Trains we’ve ridden twice.

Gare d’ les to Ramstein,

The Ice was very nice.

Just take a ride,

And you decide,

Which train is best?

Big and Tall, the line haul,

You know all the rest.

Rerailers, derailers,

Cutter yards and Stations.

Round houses, switch tracks,

Sides for short durations.

Eating in the Diner Car

The food is very good,

I would own this very train

If I thought I could.

I think we’ve tracked down trains

In every town, and nation.

I will be so very glad

When We get to the Station.

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