Many railroaders are chained to their
cell phones waiting for that call to report to work.
Most of the calls the railroads make to me involve slightly more
advance notice to report to work. In this case it was about one
month ahead of time. It is always nice when the railroad
calls you with an invitation to their open house. Can you say
let's have lunch? I made a note on my calendar and waited for
Saturday October 20, 2007 for the Commerce Union Pacific Family
Day. Our weather is just so predictable. My friend in
Alaska had a difficult time believing I had mowed my lawn in mid
October. With Santa Ana winds predicted, this day was just a
mildly warm day before the 95 degree heat expected in 2 to 3 days from
now. Arriving early, I was happily surprised with the sight of a
heritage paint scheme locomotive. I had never seen UP 1989 in
southern California before, so it was a welcome sight.
Since this is a family day, let's start with the people of Union
Pacific. In addition to train crews, a railroad employs and utilizes
many support people. They range from mechanical people to police
officers, hostlers to supply people, maintenance-of-way to marketing
folks, safety to accountants. As a volunteer for Operation
Lifesaver, I usually attend in the safety capacity of this type of
event. After a round of greetings from the hosts of the event, I
got to work. This event lived up to its promise of a great
time. Two credit unions were present in addition to a kids area,
Operation Lifesaver, health care, kids identification table, the UP
Police Department, a vintage car club and a catered lunch.
The Union Pacific Police Department was close to the entrance.
Officer Jorge Villaescusa and crew showing off some of their
equipment including body armor, knee pads and helmet.
overheard one visitor asking why the police would need knee pads.
The reply was for surveillance while crawling on the ground. The
officer in the center of the photograph is holding the police
"bible" otherwise known as the California State Penal Code.
The kids area was tucked away behind the catering and bounded by the
car department and mechanical. They had many types of games to
keep the kids occupied rangring from ducky pond to ring toss and a
If you hurt yourself watching the kids
have fun, nurse Judy Navaarette was on
duty. I had my blood pressure taken which was nice and low.
The Operation Lifesaver booth had some
interesting looking people at
it. The young girl in the lower right photograph was having a
great time blowing
UP arranged for a flyover by the
Goodyear Blimp. Not really!
Above, early guests socializing before
the buffet lunch. Lunch
was very good, consisting of pulled pork or beef brisket, mashed
potatoes, beans, chicken and cole slaw.
The Commerce crew arranged for the
Union Pacific Mini Parade Train which
provided rides to all as well as the very impressive Rio Grande
heritage locomotive UP1989. According to Darrell Hart, Foreman
General I, Transportation, at Commerce, "some of our employees stated
they rode the same train back in the mid 1950's." Two generations
of EMD "power" are pictured below left.
Family Day Page 2