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The Boomer: A Story of the Rails

Harry Bedwell
INTRODUCTION BY James D. Porterfield
Copyright Date: 1942
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttr9f
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  • Book Info
    The Boomer
    Book Description:

    Harry Bedwell’s The Boomer portrays an elite fraternity of railroad men—men who were driven by one of the defining elements of the American character: a desire to wander. Boomers were the glory of railroading and Bedwell reveals the behind-the-scenes battles that were fought to keep the trains running. This edition also includes a glossary of railroad slang and a bibliography of Bedwell's work._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9893-6
    Subjects: Transportation Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. vii-xviii)
    JAMES D. PORTERFIELD

    ALMOST FROM their inception in 1830, America’s railroads provided both settings and situations that attracted the nation’s fiction writers. From Nathaniel Hawthorne’sThe Celestial Railroadin 1846 to David Baldacci’sThe Christmas Trainin 2002, trains and the environment surrounding them have intrigued and entertained readers. Especially in the period from the late 1800s through the mid-1950s, railroad fiction as a genre within Americana literature was found regularly in mass-market periodicals such as theSaturday Evening Post, in special interest publications such asRailroad Magazine, and in trade publications such asRailway Mechanical Engineer. A bibliography of the genre (a...

  4. THE BOOMER: A STORY OF THE RAILS
    (pp. 1-316)

    THE MAN seated by the door to the chief dispatcher’s office said, “That sun finally gets you.” He had mild, bewildered eyes. He was jack-knifed over in his chair and his elbows were braced on his thighs. His hands hung down between his knees.

    Eddie Sand turned a page of his book. “It sure does,” he admitted without looking up.

    Wooden awnings slanted low over the narrow windows, but the desert sun thrust hard, white light into the battered hallway. Outside, the heat danced in a thin, fog-gray radiance over marble-gray flats.

    The man cracked his knuckles and worked his...

  5. POSTSCRIPT: ABOUT THE WAR
    (pp. 317-318)
    HARRY BEDWELL

    That afternoon of Pearl Harbor, some Old-Timers, off the Rio Grande Railroad, sat together listening to the radio’s staccato reports of the growing disaster. You could catch in the calm, weathered faces and quiet, thoughtful eyes the pictures that ran through those seasoned minds.

    Up there on the high iron, where it climbs ten thousand feet and more over the Continental Divide, they had many times waited in lone telegraph stations, their trains snowbound, while the little telegraph sounders chanted tidings of the blizzard’s havoc. The storm had struck without warning. There wasn’t a thing they could do about it...

  6. GLOSSARY OF RAILROAD TERMS AND SLANG
    (pp. 319-326)
  7. PUBLICATIONS BY OR ABOUT HARRY BEDWELL
    (pp. 327-332)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 333-333)