a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Train In Guion

video
Before my husband and I met he lived and almost died in Guion, Arkansas. Driving in his '66 maroon Mustang with his cousin they crossed these train tracks. Hubby was fiddling with his radio.
The crossing lights did not work that day nor did they work this day. Hubby looked up to see one big light bearing down on him.  Trying to stop, the car spun around and died.  Hubby started the car and by popping the clutch he lost only part of his bumper that day. The cousin had left the car. Hubby stayed to save it. We still have part of that bumper...wish we had the whole car. Hubby said for months afterward his dreams were haunted by the train light.  The engineer had not sounded the horn but he did this day.

At the beginning of my film you see a mine in the bluffs. This is a sand mining town and has been for a very long time.  I imagine one day  the town will disappear into the great void that lies beneath its hills. Once a thriving city with many businesses it is a smaller town now but beginning to grow again. In addition to the Unimin Inc there is Silica Transport and a new tiny grocery store.

We lived here a few years when the girls were young and Hubby worked at the sand mill as a laborer then as an operator washing and drying sand.  Twelve hour shifts were rough on all.  I'm sure the working conditions have improved while the mines still provide jobs for many.

As Hubby grew up he traveled much by train since his father was an employee of Missouri-Pacific Railroad and family could travel free.

The track runs along White River for many miles and is still in use today but only for transporting products not people.

Just another tendril from the vines of life that twine together and make me who I am. Where would I be today if Hubby was not a great driver?

15 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sand mining - interesting! and good golly on the 'saved' car. sheesh!

Linda Kay said...

What a frightening experience that must have been for him! Yikes! The thought of trains makes me a bit nostalgic, as I took a train back and forth from Illinois to California for college. Great times.

Alica said...

I can only imagine how scared he must have been! Thank goodness that experience had a good ending!

Sandy said...

Trains are a great source of transportation, and dangerous. Thank God your husband was okay, this could have been bad.

What a great story to share, nothing like small towns.

LindaG said...

The trains are the same here. Only for freight. Kind of sad.
The horns sound here though. Day or night.
Glad your hubby's angel was watching over him. ♥

Bethany Carson said...

Oh wow...sounds like a close one! Glad he survived!

Saucy Kodz said...

You know, I've always seen the "Movies" where the car gets stuck on the train tracks, but never actually known a person that did. WOW, and your Den still has the bumper. I'd say that was commitment to the saving of the vehicle and also foolhardy for a younger Den then, eh. What a story to tell and I can understand the nightmares for a while. I have seen bustling towns die and come to life again. Our small town is in very hard times, with young people moving out west to work, abandoning homes and jobs being lost with shutdowns and closures of businesses. I also see some new folks moving into town and the struggle for new opportunities with a few new businesses opening, so I hope it is a successful adventure for the new ones. I enjoy the small town life but also love to visit the city, cause I know at the end of the day, I am "goin home". Great post Gail - we have a train rail at the end of the street, so train goes by round noon, I shall be thinking of Den from now on. What a story. Hugz to Marcy n best to you n Family. lol I was talking to my friend Steve, and he said if Andrew was interested, he would send his other CD to me and I could mail it to Andrew. Let me know - its only an email away. lol

Sandra said...

I nearly hit a moving train not once but twice in my life, once in rural GA and once here in Bradenton, and even your children would not be if that train had hit Den.... i love the sound of the horn... always have. i love trains and rode them many times, we also used to race the train because int eh middle of Florida the track runs side by side for miles with 301... great story, glad you shared it, each time i hear a story i feel i know you better. I would have left the car

Marty Damon said...

Isn't amazing how often cars have stalled on railroad tracks. You might think they have a little gasp of panic and dither like a squirrel caught in the middle of the road.
Your post is a fascinating slice of American life.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

Excellent life story for many reasons. This illustrates the heart and soul of America. I love this and appreciate you sharing it.

Lynne said...

Yikes . . . I love family stories but I am with hubs . . . the thought of that train bearing down on him,(or me) would scare the willies out.

I wish you still had that car too!

Michaele said...

That would definitely be the material of nightmares. Some good friends of my parents lost a son to a train accident where his truck had apparently stalled when him and some buddies were trying to beat the train. So - your husband is extremely blessed in my book!

gld said...

What a scary thing! We have to drive over a railroad track every time we go to the sale barn. It was the same crossing a teenage girl was killed at a few years ago, I always think of her every time we are there.

Normally a bar drops down if a train is coming but DH always looks both ways anyway.

DesertHen said...

What a scary train encounter! And in the video, no flashing lights either! Scary! I cross the tracks daily going to work and always try to look to see if there is a train. The other night, I crossed and looked and there was the light...big, giant shinning down the track! Scared me, but the train was still far enough away that it hadn't tripped the "light" switch yet!

Farm Girl said...

That is a lovely story about your husband. I like personal history.
Today the train by my house was honking the song Shave and a Haircut Two bits.
That is one fast train.

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