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The Advance advocate, Volume 20 online

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tell jokes, and there sat * 'Windy" with
a cigar in his mouth and a four-days-old
newspaper, reading the news. I asked
him if this was the sleeper, and he told
me it was. I asked him if a fellow had
to sleep on a bench, and he looked sur-
prised at my ignoiance and informed
me that the sleeping apartments were
farther back and that "Hot Air" was
back there, having already retired. Di-
rectly the colored man came in, and
'* Windy" asked him something about a
berth for me, and I Jumped up and asked
him how in thunder he knew anything
about it and said that I hoped it would
not happen until I got back home.
Afterwards I found out I misunderstood
his language, or something like that.
After I had tried to smoke a ' 'three- for-
five," ''Windy" said I had better go to
bed. I consented, and he pushed against
the wall and in walked a "coon,*' and
we told him we wanted to go to bed and
he motioned for us to follow him, and I
suppose he could not talk, but we lined
up after we got further back in the car
and the coon brought out a ladder like
the one we used to get up stairs on at
home, only smaller, and said our berths
were ready. 1 always had to sleep up-
stairs at home, but how that coon knew
it I cannot tell, but that is where he had
me. I had to go into the berth and un-
dress, and, in doing so, my watch fell
out to the bunk below me. I yelled to
the coon, and he came at a two-mile
gait like all of them do. As it happened,
there was a whiskey drummer in the
bunk below me, and he said if I would
promise to never sign the pledge and to
use the brand of whiskey he represented,
he would cough up the watch. I prom-
ised, and he delivered the goods, and
the next morning he gave me a sam^^e,
but I am afraid I broke the contract, but
I had a right to and can prove it by my

I awoke the next morning quite soared
for fear we had already passed Boet<mi
but "Windy" said we had not passed
Columbus yet and were three hours late.
When we arrived in Columbus we found

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we had miased connection seven hours,
BO \ve took in the town. We called on
Qovemor Harmon and he sent us to the
**pen.'* We finally got away from the
guards, after being skinned out of $1.75.
When we came up to main street, I told
my pals I was hungry and we hunted
for some place to eat. We finally found
one, and, my! don't I wish T. J. O. had
been there. I never saw so many pretty
girls, and such pretty smiles they gave
as, along with something nice to eat.
Well, in due time we started to Boston,
bat before leaving Columbus I struck a
man faller (Fuller) than we were, and
immediately named him ** Uncle Fuller."
We changed oars at Toledo and arrived
at Buffalo about 6:30 a. m. and missed
oar connection there six hours, so it was
moved, seconded and carried that we
hunt np another cook shop and repair
the inner man, and then spend a quarter
2nd see the wonderful Niagara Falls. It
most take my breath away to write
aboat it. It reminded me of the water
pouring over the mill dam when I used
to go to .the mill (only Niagara Falls are
larger). We took in the falls and then
let some others take us in. My! but
that was a fast bus ride. We crossed
over into Canada and were taken in
tiiere. We went into a balloon, or some-
thing of that kind, and went through a
tunnel right under the falls. It so much
reminded me of the times when we used
to go swimming below the afore men-
tioned mill dam. We just had a lovely
time. • 'Windy'* received a nice souvenir
down there in the way of a *'punk
knock" on the back of his head. In de-
livering his part of **Three Cheers for
Canada," his feet slipped out from under
him and his head struck some Canadian
rocks, so **Hot Air" and myself had to
buy all the souvenirs the girls had at the
end of the Canadian bridge.

After seeing all the wonderful sights
and being skinned again until we were
tired, we departed for Buffalo, and in
doe time were * *put off. ' ' Then, leaving
Baffalo for Albany, we arrived at 2 p. m.
and repaired to a hotel and ordered two
sappers and a feed of oats. We went to
bed and arose at 6 a. m. and took in the
Tillage. I forgot to mention that I found

another pal on the way to Albany. He
was in a sleeper and came over to the
baggage car where they had put us.
Finding us congenial company, he went
back to the sleeping-car man and wanted
him to refund his '*dough," as he found
he was not sleepy, but this was turned
down as against the rules of the com-
pany, and he came back and stayed with
Uncle Fuller. Albany is a very nice
village. We called on the gfovemor, but
got lost in the capitol building and had
to give a man 50 cents to get us out. It
would not do for T. J. O. to visit this
building, on account of the sayings
written about the late war and how the
Northern boys licked the South or cap-
tured so and so. I just had to grin and
bear it, being the son of a rebel soldier.

Well, indue time we started for Boston
and saw much beautiful scenery and saw
nothing more. We arrived in Boston
sober and about in our right mind. Be-
ing too wise to inquire for the American
House, we finally worked the puzzle and
arrived there a little worse for travel,
but still in the ring, meeting Brothers
Lowe, Pegg, Gerrey and **Has Anybody
Here Seen Kelly?"

Well, I will cut this out and tell you
what all happened at the convention in
my next letter, if this passes the goat,
and give a few particulars concerning
our Brotherhood in this locality. We
seem to be on the average progressive
side. The boys are slow paying up. I
suppose they are waiting for Tom to
come around and g^ve them one of his
pleasant smiles and collect the dough,
but I hope to soon see the time when it
will be a race among us to see who can
pay up first, and, furthermore, do the
most to upbuild the Brotherhood, and
then we will put things on the **hum,"
and the railway companies will know we
have come to stay, and such railway
systems that have refused to meet our
committee and give them the increased
rates, with a good working agreement,
will be begging Brother Lowe to send
organizers and line their men up, fur-
nishing expenses. This may sound broad,
but it can be done if every brother will
do his duty. We should take a motto
from the good old song, **We must fight

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if we must win," and then fight, using
brotherly love as our ammunition, unity
as our fortress.

I will close, wishing all the brothers
and sisters succesa in all their under-
takings, Brothers Lowe and Pegg twice
that much. If this escapes the goat, I
will write again. Yours in B. L. and U.,


Matewan, W. Va.

As this is my first attempt to write to
the Advocate, I will endeavor to pen a
few lines. I do not want to intrude or
hurt the feelings of the journal agent of
Lodge No. 31, but I think he should wake
up and let us hear from him occasionally.
In fact, I think it is time that all the
boys on this division get woke up and
put their shoulders to the wheel and »tart
it rolling and keep it rolling. Let us put
Tug River Lodge No. 31 on the Roll of
Honor. She has been there before; let.
us put her there again and keep her.
Now, boys, on the Pocahontas division,
why don't you turn out and attend the
lodge meetings regularly, pay your dues
and assessments at the proper time and
not become a backslider? All of you
section foremen, bring your men that
are eligible to membership, with you to
our meetings and get them lined up.

A few words to the non-union men.
Come to our lodge and get lined up with
us. It is not right that you should stand
out in the cold and let union men carry
your load for you as well as our own.
Don't you feel as though you were doing
wrong? Think of your best interests and
come along and help us bear the burden.
The stronger we are the easier our bur-
den will be. If you will come to the
lodge we will show you the way in and I
assure you that you will receive your
money's worth. Let every man who
works in the main tenance-of- way depart-
ment carry an up-to-date card. Be strong
Brotherhood men and then we will get
paid in proportion for our labor. Get
solidly organized and be in the front
rank. Just think of it, no matter how
cold it is nor how hard it rains, we have
to go. We have to work rain or shine,
cold or hot, and I don't think we are
paid enough for our hard labor. I \qnfg^

to see the time come when we will be
paid something that is right. At the
present we are paid the lowest wages of
any employes in the railway company
service and yet bear the hardest toil.

I hope the journal agent of Lodg^ No.
31 will give a little contribution to our
Advocate and to the officers of Lodge
No. 31. I would like to see the work
done in a nice manner and in order.
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning.
Let every member attend the meetings
regularly then you will see the wheels
go around.

I am a section foreman on the N. & W.
Ry., Pocahontas division. I began to
work on the track in 1903 at $1.30 per day ;
joined the I. B. M. W. E. in 1907 and
have carried an up-to-date card ever
since. I will close now, hoping to see
every road with a signed contract in the
near future. Cert. No. 77694.

Southern Rail^v^ay.

As no one from the Birmingham di-
vision has written anything to the Ad-
vocate for some time, I will try, though
I am a poor hand to write letters, but as
I have been elected journal agent for
Lodge No. 375, will do the best I oan.

I never try to shirk upon a duty when
imposed upon me, and I believe that it
is the duty of each one to pull in harness
together with his partner.

We met at Armiston, Va., the third
Sunday in November and had a nice
meeting, with a good number of the
boys present. We might have had a
better meeting, and I want to say to
those brothers who attend the meetings,
that you have paid your ferriage across
the union river; why do you stand on
the bank and not cross over and do your
part. If I pay for anything, I am going
to see what is in it. I am anxious to see
about the nons. Now, boys, there is not
any use in dodging this or anything else;
we must all do our part. If we try to do
the duty assigned to us by our super-
visors and roadmasters, we should also
see to it and do the right thing for the
up-building of our Brotherhood. Yon
cannot catch a bullfrog by walking up
behind him; you have got to go in front

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o! him and the pond and look him
etraight in the eyes. He is sure to jump
toward the water, not out on dry land.
Are you waiting for some one else?
Suppose every one should wait for some
one else. As I said about the bullfrog,
we would all probably be walking behind
our rights, and we never could accom-
plish anything in the Brotherhood. Now,
let us be up and doing here in getting
our rights. Do as Benjamin Franklin
said ( I guess the most of you have read
of him.) He said, **Never make a trade
crossing a stream. Make your trade
first and then cross the stream." Then
demand your rights.

Man comes into this world without his
consent and leaves it against his will.
During his stay on earth his time is spent
in one continuous round of contrariness
and misunderstandings. Now, brothers,
lot us not be always that way; let us get
out of that rnt. We can make our Order
better, stronger by all coming up in a
solid union together.

I love the Advocate, and its readers
love to read the letters. I know there
are some good writers and good men on
the Birmingham division, and would like
to see some of their letters in the Advo-
cate. Get busy as a bee in a hive, that
is the way to get benefits, and let us
have more letters from the Birmingham
division. Let the grand old union wheel
realize that it has one more strong spoke
in it. We want all the Central of Geor-
gia, the Knoxville, and other divisions
to know that we are out looking anxious-
ly to the future and we are going to
stand pat.

We have a good set of men to work
for. While some of us may think at
times the road is hard to travel, still we
are making a good showing ditching,
surfacing, putting our slag to a good
line and getting ready for the inspection.
We are doing good work, and we try
hard to please the officials and do all
that we can.

I will close for this time. I trust the
editor will line up my letter so as to let
our members on the Birmingham division
know that yonr journal agent is not
afraid to blow his union horn. Yours in
B, L, and U.. Journal Agent,

Rosedale Lodge No. 370.

Well, it is winter again, and we fellows
up in the north know something about
that. I have just got in from an eight-
mile walk through the snow, which is
anywhere from six to ten inches deep
between the rails so do not be surprised
if my letter runs something like my feel-

I have not heard yet what has been
done with our schedule. A meeting of
our lodge was called for November 26,
but as I could not attend I must leave it
to someone who was there to tell us
what waa done.

Well, my force has been reduced to
myself only, since November 19. I will
get a photo (if 1 can) of myself and crew
as it now stands and send it to the Ad-
vocate. There was a photo in the jour-
nal some time ago of a Canadian North-
em Railway section crew in winter which
showed six men. I do not know what
part of the system this photo came from,
but I think that it is only fair to all to
say that the photo will give a very er-
roneous impression to anyone who is a
stranger to the actual conditions exist-
ing here.

Every winter in the history of this
branch and of my railroad career the
section crew have been reduced to the
foreman alone*for at least a part of the
winter. They always have one man on
the main line, I believe, but I do not
think they have on any of the branches,
and I am sure they do not on this one.

Although it is a long time before the
next convention, it is not too soon to
start to get read}' for it, so, may I offer
a suggestion, which I would like some of
the rest of you to give your opinion on?
I understand that in England some of
the unions make a practice of collecting
a small amount from those who are at
work, to support those who are on strike.
I was recently talking with a man whose
union was on strike in one city. The
strikers received enough from the union
to support them until they won out and
returned to work. It cost the rest of the
members two pence, or four cents, a
week while the strike lasted. I believe
that this is a practice which showld ho

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adopted and would be advantageous in
any union. There are different ways in
which this could be done. One way
would be to call a certain amount month-
ly or half yearly as the members see fit,
and start a fund, the same to be drawn
on when occasion demanded.

Another way would be to assess a cer-
tain amount from each member when
the money was required, the amount to
be changeable according to the amount
of money to be required. Either of these
ways, I think, would have to be compul-

Another way would be to form a class,
we might call it, who would be assessed
a certain amount annually and a fund
raised for this purpose which would be
at the disposition of the members of the
class only. It would be well to pass a
bylaw that no members of the class would
be allowed the benefits of the class for a
certain time after joining, say, six
months, so as to guard against anyone
who might wish to join when he saw
trouble ahead for the sake of the benefit
which he might receive at the expense
of the older members. Like the man
some one spoke about not long ago, who
wanted his lodge to take his back dues
and take up his g^evance with the com-
pany. Now, possibly some brother has
a better proposition than I have made,
and if so, trot it algng; there is
nothing to good for the Irish.

I would be in favor of a compulsory
fund, otherwise it would be like the in-
surance department, those most in need
of it are often the ones who are without

Now, from another point of view, I
think this will be best. When a strike
is called, the company knows as well as
we do that they cannot go on the market
and buy competent labor, but it is a case
of will the track hold out until we starve
out the men and force them to return to
work? Like seizing a city with food
scarce inside and water scarce outside.
Will the army inside be compelled to
surrender or will the army outside be
compelled to leave and go in search of
water. If the company knows when
their men go on strike that they are pre-
pared to stay on strike, they will think

seriously before letting the strike be
called. Will the editor, or someone who
is in a position to know, tell us what it
would have .cost each member of the or-
ganization to have paid the men on strike
on the Southern Pacific last summer,
|1 per day each?

Well, now, I think I had better close,
or my letter will make friends with the
waste basket. I would like to hear from
some of the rest of the boys on this mat-
ter if only to condemn it. I d€i^t like
to see a man sit in the lodge with his
hands in his pockets and not make a
move when his vote is called for either
to carry a motion or to turn it down.
Don't say **it don't concern" you, be-
cause it does concern you. If it will not
be an advantage to you, then it must be
a disadvantage to you. We have a long
pump home and a head wind, so ''Jerry
go ile the cyar." Journal Aqent.

Hernando, Miss.

"He who hesitates is lost." Some
great and wise man of the past spoke
them, and if my memory serves me
right I think it was the great Napoleon,
who said and did some great things, but
the above is a truism that most of us
have found to be true in our lives.

Napoleon himself was a shining ex'
ample of that saying at Waterloo. If
he had begun the battle two hours earlier
in the morning he would have defeated
Wellington and his allies before Blucher,
the Prussian general, had come on the
field, so, if Napoleon is the author of
the above quotation, he did not heed or
practice what he preached, at least on
that fatal occasion, to reign as dictator
of Europe; but, aside from Napoleon,
thousands have made the same fatal
mistake — ^hesitated.

The maintenance-of-way employes
have hesitated on numerous ocoasions
which, if we had gone ahead, would
have meant victory. Looking back over
my nearly twenty years of membership,
I can see hesitation, that fatal word,
written all over our pathway. No class
of railway employes ever had a greater
opportunity to be a power in railway
circles than maintenance-of-way em-
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ployea, but they have hesitated and
dropped by the wayside and have lost
one of the greatest opportunities ever
given to labor to be strong and powerful
and a foe to be reckoned with ; but what
is the ase of crying over spilled milk?
The field is still before you, and if you
will only take advantage of the means
and material at hand, yon can, and in a
very short time, ie what you should be
— the largest labor organization in the
world.. Now, so much for organization
in our department as a body. Individ-
ually, the world is full of the wrecks of
hesitation ; in fact, derelicts ot hesitation
are floating all over the sea of life. We
see them every day in the tramp as he
passes on the track. He has hesitated
to grasp some opportunity that some
time or another knocked at his door, for
opportunity has knocked on all of our
doors at some time, but we hesitated to
take the tide at its flood and waited until
the ebb, so that now we wallow in the
shoals, and breakers, some of us all of
our lives and others for a time. Some
are guided by mistakes of the past, but
an opportunity once lost can hardly ever
be regained.

Our Lee hesitated, or rather Long-
street, to commence the battle of Get-
tysburg at 4 a. m., so hesitation lost
Gettysburg to the Confederacy, and, as
a consequence, the sun of the Confed-
eracy commenced to set after Lee's de-
feat on that bloody field until it sank
below the horison never to rise again,
on the 15th of April, 1805.

Patterson hesitated to support McDow-
ell at Bull's Bun, which caused the de-
feat of the Federals. Our Beauregard
hesitated to follow up the crushing blow
given to the Federals on the home field
when we could have taken the capital
Washington, easily, and have dictated
terms of peace from Pennsylvania; and,
on looking back, as I do sometimes, I
can see written all over our struggle for
self-government, hesitation—hesitation
and lost opportunities— but we cannot
tarn back time in its flight. Coming
down from the great men I have men-
tioned, Napoleon to Beauregard, I come
to "j'oors truly,'' T. J. O'Donnell.
gome time ago the thought struck me-

that I should have some insurance on
my bam and its contents — stock, hay,
com and cotton. I had just renewed
the insurance on my dwelling for three
years, also on the furniture, and a cot-
tage I rent. It cost me considerable to
insure, so I hesitated about the bam,
stock and other contents until the night
of December 1 it all went up in smoke ;
also one horse, one mule, twelve tons of
hay, two bales of cotton and 200 bushels
of com, a loss amounting to over $1000.
So you see procrastination, the thief of
time, ain't in it with hesitation, and
your Uncle Tom knows it now. Frater-
ally yours, T. J. O'Donnell.

Canton, Me.

I will try to let the boys know that we
are not dead down here. We do not see
many letters from the boys on the Range-
ley division. I am willing to do my part
and I hope we will all get down to busi-
ness and do all we can to keep in line
and stand up for our rights. Brothers
let's stick to our Brotherhood and attend
to our meetings.

We were surprised at our last meeting
on the 3rd of December at the good turn-
out we had for the ^election of officers.
It was quite interesting, as many broth
ers had encouraging words to say for the
good of the Brotherhood. We also had
some new business.

I hope to see all the trackmen on the
Bangely division and also on the Maine
Central in good shape for we have a lot
to look after. Our next meeting will be
the last Saturday in January, 1911, and I
hope to see a big turfi-out. There should
be one man at least from each section if
possible and it will be more interesting
for all of us. Brothers, don't forget that
your dues are now due. It is one of the
important things that we must remember
to keep ourselves in good standing.

Our good president, Bro. A. B. Lowe,
writes very interesting letters for the
Advocatb and has given us good advice.
I hope to see letters from more of the
boys on this division, for many of them
are better able to write than I am and I
believe it is their duty to do so. With
ikind regards, I remain, J. A. G.

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Kenova Lodge No. 67.

I would like to occupy a little comer
in our Abvocatb once more as we have
every enooun^^ement to develop and
improve our letter writing abilities
through our most valuable journal, and
no doubt most of our journal agents will
take the hint and get busy and get out
a few interesting letters, as all of us like
to read something good from everybody.
I think everyone should get more inter-
ested in the welfare of the organisation
and if every brother would try to get one
new member at least and try to make
the year 1911 the banner year of the Or-
der there is no doubt but that this could
be done if we all would put our shoulder
to the wheel and push forward to success.

We have a good lodge at Kenova, W.
Va., on the N. & W. Ry. Our meetings
are held on Saturday night after the 25th
of each month. We held our election at
the last meeting and had 40 members out.
How is that for attendance?

Now, brothers, the time is here again
for us to pay our dues. Let everyone
come with open hands and pay their
dues. Do not wait for some one to call
around and receive them, just send them
to your local secretary or mail them to
8. J. Pegs, St. Louis, Mo.

I would like to see our brothers all at-
tend the lodge meetings. There is no
reason for excuses. We have good offi-
cials on the N. & V/. who will gladly fur-
nish passes for our members to come to
lodge once a month. I have talked to
some of the brothers about their not

Online LibraryInternational Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way EmThe Advance advocate, Volume 20 → online text (page 5 of 136)