Note: Due to original recording: Program Distorted at Times; Static on Tape; High Background Noise on Tape
An audio interview lasting slightly over an hour. Interview with retired railroad engineer, Arthur Smith about his experiences on the job. Smith talked about the unique and unusual things he had seen on the job, seeing the “Freedom Train” that toured the country as part of the 1975 Bicentennial, and seeing his first diesel powered train in California. Smith and the interviewer frequently discussed the schematics and specifications of various trains that they had either worked on, or known about. They further talked about other California railroads before the interviewer turns to the main question of finding artifacts and information in the Central Pacific Railroad and Smith attempts to answer any questions he can. The two men exchanged stories about long trips and encountering “hobos” and runaways during their travels. There is reference to various locations throughout California (from Folsom and Stockton, to Riverside and Willets). Both mentioned “railroad bulls,” which are special agents. Smith and the interviewer talked at length about hobos, and even mentioned a “hobo convention” in Iowa where most of the espoused hobos were actually hippies. The interviewer then shared his experiences working on the Ohio Railroad as well as other railways in the American Southwest, although he doesn’t mention any specific companies.
Written on note with tape: Arthur F. Smith, Retired A.R. Engineer age 75 2/3/76; 45 yes a vanhooder(spelling?); Western Pacific; Rock Island; Southern Pacific; Missouri Pacific; talking to Hood River Blackie; Ex Hobo
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