You cannot imagine the excitement I had reading the Jan. 18 Times-News and the article by Greg Larry, about the “Historic rail car returns to area, will be restored.” (Page 1A).
My father, Clifford P. Flanagan, worked at the Western Maryland Railway as a machinist helper and back in the 40’s, he was picked up daily in Knob Mount (WM shops,) now Carpenter’s Addition), by the passenger train from Elkins, W.Va., to Cumberland.
His job was to inspect the locomotive, lubricating it and other areas. It was Dec. 8, 1941, never to be forgotten. I ran up to the WM crossing in Ridgeley, where they exchanged the mail bags and told my father the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor on Sunday, Dec. 7, a date that will live in infamy, said President Roosevelt.
We lived right beside the tracks on Main Street, where Victor Tambello and his father Nick would visit frequently, as Nick and my dad worked together at the WM.
Victor’s body is entombed in the hull of the USS Arizona, a national memorial at Pearl Harbor.
I still get excited when I see or hear No. 734 giving its notice of a rumbling giant as they seemed to me, growing up in Ridgeley, beside the tracks.
I am sensitive to the present folks in Ridgeley, near the “tracks”, with still enduring the cinders and black smoke from the giant 734.
But my family and I, especially my mother, endured the same experience, hanging clothes in the back yard, for the white clothes and sheets, to catch the cinders and soot that bellowed from all the freight activity in the yards (Ridgeley) at that time.
I was just going to write you a personal letter, thanking you for the extensive cost and effort you have rendered, bringing the 1918 Pullman railway car back to Ridgeley.
But then, I thought it should be brought to the attention of those who might have missed this historic story and the ancient history that goes with it.
I think I remember seeing it in 1943 and the gold letters “Western Maryland” painted across each side.
My excitement was always seeing the rear platform on those cars, as I remember seeing it and the WM officials riding through between here and Elkins.
It is ironic and exciting that after Carl Belt Inc., delivered this car to Swanton, after 50 years, you have returned it to its home in Ridgeley.
As the article stated, “Dan Pluto, the chief mechanical officer, and the folks at our shop do great work,” and they do, by the evidence of the continuing success of the WMSR, that bears that memorable name and logo, Western Maryland Railway”.
This project will be one I will checking on from time to time. Those visits will remind me of the many days I carried the Times-News papers from Cumberland to Ridgeley in the early morning and half of my trip was warming up in the “shack” at the site of the present WMSR repair facility.
Our community, which includes the tri-state area, is very blessed to have the benefit of your family and the Carl Belt family, of which your father founded and your mother was as popular as your dad in Cumberland.
Your many services and contributions to this area, namely to the local Boy Scouts of America, have helped it maintain the proper and historic title of “The Queen City of the Alleghenies.”
Thank you for your special contribution to the WMSR and many other projects and employment for the benefit of this area.
Jimmie D. Flanagan
Eventually, the maneuvering and lies will catch up with him
Several months ago I wrote a letter to the editor taking to task President Obama on his lack of leadership (“Obama has earned no points for his leadership,” Sept. 2, 2013).
Writer should cast aside the anger and suspicion of religion
In the March 6 edition of your paper, David Crockett wrote a letter condemning religion, with particular emphasis on Christianity (“How can we respect a religion when it subjugates women?”).
Without leadership, what can you expect to happen to us?
Psalm 11:3 — If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
The foundation of our nation “America” was built on Christian principles, values and prayers of our founding for fathers. And God did bless America. But in 1963 our Supreme Court saw fit to remove prayer from our public schools. In 1973 our Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade made abortion legal.
Some good may come of this
This is a time in our history when nuance defines us and causes pain, as is evident in letters written in reaction to Commissioner McKay’s request that a portion of money from a marriage license tax be given to the local Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization.
Goal: Make NBCI most secure Md. maximum security prison
The top priority of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is to ensure the safety of our staff and the incarcerated offenders in our care.
Some senators must believe vets aren’t worth the money
Our legislators have no qualms sending our men and women in uniform into harms way.
Agreements between SHA, Lonaconing working well
I’d like to respond to the article, “Administrative hurdles make getting salt supplies difficult,” Feb. 20 Times-News, Page 1A.
Sick leave bill would benefit Marylanders
The Cumberland Times-News Feb. 27 article, “Chamber of Commerce opposes bills for required paid sick leave” (Page 1A) presented a one-sided account of a measure that could improve the lives and communities of more than 700,000 Marylanders.
Something on this list just might help you to save a soul
Every day, 18 veterans commit suicide. Every week, thousands of American children commit economic suicide by quitting school.
Money wasted on roundabout could have been spent in city
When the idea of a roundabout on the Route 220 off Interstate 68, that was the biggest mistake the state had made.
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