Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thirsty Locomotive Draws Crowd

September 1966
  It wasn’t too many years ago that a person would not even turn around to see a steam locomotive pulling through town. The sight of the smoke and soot-belching monsters would often draw scurrilous remarks from its choaking citizens. But what a difference a few years makes.
  Last Saturday, around 500 people crowded around the Grand Trunk & Western Railroad depot to see what may well be the last steam locomotive stopping here. Hundreds of more people lined the tracks at Avon, Dequindre, Crooks and Adams Roads to catch a glimpse of the excursion train as it chugged eastward through Rochester and then to Port Huron. In Rochester, it stopped 45 minutes to take on 3,000 gallons of water pumped by the fire department from the nearby Clinton River.
  Scores of the curious lined the Main Street bridge, causing others to stop and take a look at what all the fuss was about. Some thought that there was a railroad disaster. Police collected a few bucks writing tickets for cars illegally parked on the bridge.
  One might expect that the first train to ever come through Rochester in the 1870’s could have been late. But things apparently haven’t improved all of these years. The last steam locomotive was a half hour late. The old red stationhouse which is now used only for the Railway Express operation, probably was never busier than Saturday morning. And it will probably never see that much activity again.
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  THE HARRY SCHREIBERS at 157 Tartan, had their faith in humanity restored this week. Their 14-year-old deaf cocker spaniel disappeared Monday night of last week. Phone calls to all the police agencies and Pontiac Animal Shelter proved fruitless. They drove the roads of Avon Township and spent the weekend searching roads as far north as Imlay City, figuring that a hunter may have picked up the dog.
  On Monday morning this week, the Animal Shelter phoned the Schreibers telling them that a dog of their description had been reported by an Avon Township family. Driving to the home, it was indeed their dog. Taking in their dog was the Norman May family on Tienken Road. The bedraggled dog, full of burrs, had wandered to the home Thursday.
  “They took him in, gave him a bath, groomed him and even bought him food and some antibiotics for an open wound on his back. They are remarkable people and have restored my faith in humanity again,” Mrs. Schreiber declared with happiness Monday afternoon.
  Norm and Eleanor May, of course, are widely-known in Rochester. Norm is currently vice-president of the Board of Education.
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  THOSE WHO TOOK their young ones to the measles clinic Sunday got a good demonstration in mass psychology. Held in the cafeteria of Central Junior High, the clinic brought out 809 youngsters. At one time, the line-up wound down the hall and up the stairway. The place where the shots were administered was around a corner and out of the line of sight so that kiddies wouldn’t be able to see what lay ahead of them.

  What they couldn’t see they made up in what they could hear. Whenever a young one let out a howl as the needle came close, the sound carried around the corner and down the hallway. This brought into play the psychological effect— and the halls soon rang out in waves of cries of anticipated pain.
  But the little sting should be well worth it to the kiddies. One of the children’s doctors feels that the shots will definitely have an effect on the case load when the measles season comes around.
  And it should almost mean that the youngsters will be spending more time in school. Ah, ha… so that’s why they were crying!
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  THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This Thanksgiving time there is something for which we can all be thankful. If you can’t pay your debts, be thankful you are not one of your creditors.