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Slim & Stumpy Visit the PLCo.
Slim & Stumpy Visit the
© George C. Thomas 2001

It happened the other evening, just as it had happened before. When the old gibbous moon was high in the sky and someone in Circleville, Ohio was playing “The City of New Orleans” on the radio, Slim and Stumpy entered the plastic-plasma phase and began to “connect.” If this doesn’t make sense, you should read one or more earlier adventures.

Slim is a 1:20 figure on “Engineer” Jeff Saxton’s Winona & Thorny Mountain RR in St. Louis, Missouri, and Stumpy is a short 1:20 figure on George Thomas’ Lazy Acre Lumber Company RR in Delran, New Jersey. When Slim and Stumpy “connect” they like to visit a great model railroad. In addition to visiting each others railroads they had already enjoyed several others, but one can never visit too many railroads. This goes without saying in our hobby.

“Wow, that Willie Nelson sure can sing,” said Slim.

“He sure can, even thought I prefer Arlo Guthrie,” added Stumpy.

“Well, it doesn’t really matter,” said Slim, “since I just got us an invite to the Piute Lumber Company in Colorado.”

“Didn’t we already visit Piute?”

“Yes, but that was his BYOB (Big Yawn & Overbite). The Piute Lumber Company is different, but it joins the BYOB in Overbite.”

“That’s good enough for me--let’s go.”

So Slim and Stumpy headed out to the Denver area. In what seemed like only a matter of minutes, they found themselves standing along the Piute Lumber Co. right-of-way. As they started to walk down the tracks, Slim announced that he needed to answer a call from nature. His search for a suitable tree was interrupted by the sound of a locomotive, a Shay to be exact, coming up behind them. It stopped beside them, and they immediately recognized the engineer--it was their old friend Piute.

“Hop in,” called Piute. “You already know my dog Ophir. This here’s JC, my fireman.”

Slim and Stumpy enjoyed the cab ride in the Piute Lumber Co. Shay #3 on it’s run into Overbite. During the ride they caught up on the happenings since they last saw each other. All of them were railroaders in the logging business, so they had much in common to talk about. When they arrived in Overbite the three of them continued their conversation while JC tended to the locomotive. It may seem unfair that JC was doing all the work, but he was new here, and often it’s the new guys that get stuck with the lion’s share of the work.

But all good things must come to an end, especially if it’s idle conversation, when some of the participants are being paid to do a job. So Piute and JC bid adieu and headed down the track, while Slim and Stumpy were left to see the sights of Overbite.

It was then that Slim spotted the outhouse and remembered his now urgent “need.” He ran over to it. Stumpy followed, and found Slim looking rather confused at the two doors.

Stumpy tried to help. “GENTLEMEN means the same thing as MEN, more or less.”

“That’s not the problem, you dummy,” said Slim. “Look at all the dirt piled up in front of the door--it’s blocked. How am I going to get in?”

“There’s less in front of the LADIES door. It would be faster if you . . .”

Slim kicked the dirt away with his boot and hurried in. Stumpy couldn't resist the humor he saw in this whole happening. “Don’t be too long, Shirley,” laughed Stumpy. It’s fortunate, especially for any younger readers, that the response was muffled by the closed door!

Stumpy wandered over to the nearby station and met a funny looking guy (Stumpy thought his hat made him look like the Tin Man) and a young, rather chubby, lady.

“Howdy,” said Stumpy, in his usual friendly manner.

“Hmmm, a friendly stranger,” said the man. “You must be the one. Did you know my daughter?”

“Not that I know of, but I did visit once before. My name’s Stumpy.” He clearly didn’t grasp the potential seriousness of the situation.

“Daddy, I don’t think he’s . . .”

“I’m gettin’ my gun?” shouted the father as he rushed into the station.

“What’s going on?” exclaimed Stumpy, still totally clueless.

Luckily, two things came to Stumpy’s rescue. Slim, looking much happier from his visit to the outhouse, arrived on the scene. It didn’t take him more than a second to grasp Stumpy’s predicament.

And second, a mixed BYOB freight came rumbling past the station. Slim hopped on the caboose and hollered at Stumpy, “Hurry! I think this is a good time for us to leave Colorado.”

It had taken a while, but at last Stumpy realized what the father was thinking. “I’m in full agreement,” he said as he climbed up next to Slim.

“That was close,” said Slim.

“You can say that again,” replied Stumpy. He waved to the young lady--it wasn’t her fault her father was crazy.

As the station receded, they saw the father emerge, holding his now useless gun. A smile appeared on Stumpy’s face as he hollered back, “Good-bye, Tin Man!”

Since their visit to Colorado was now over, Slim and Stumpy knew that it was time for them to part ways.

“When and where will I see you next?” asked Slim.

“Who knows," answered Stumpy. "It’s up to the moon and a beautiful railroad song. There are plenty of other fine layouts to visit.”

“You got that right, little buddy, until next time . . .”

And so they both vanished into the cool, thin air of Colorado, heading eastward toward Missouri and New Jersey. But rest assured, Slim and Stumpy will meet again to make another layout visit. So inspect your outhouses, web site readers, it could be yours!

Enjoy the next Slim and Stumpy adventure
Visit the Piute Lumber Co.
Read Piute’s version of this visit
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