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Lore...Interesting experiences from The Snick
"The President is calling..." from Edward Emanuel
"There are no F units around here any more" from Jeff Pape

"The President is calling..."
A tale from Edward Emanuel, Washington
Agent on the Olympic Peninsula for the Milwaukee Road and the Seattle & North Coast Railroad

From the time of it's inception until well into 1982, in a David vs. Goliath struggle, the S&NC was engaged in a bitter battle with the Port of Seattle over the ownership of Pier 27.  Pier 27 the the linch-pin of the railroad's operation.  Without Pier 27, the railroad would have had to use one of the other rail-barge transfer facilities at a prohibitive cost.  The Port claimed the with the demise of the Milwaukee Road, it had first priority to the property, which it wanted to use as part of a planned container terminal.  The battle raged in the courts, the I.C.C., even the Halls of Congress and had attracted the attention of the Seattle media.  Larry Bunting and the Port of Seattle's Director Richard Ford had even debated the issue on TV.  For what it was worth, John Q. Public was on the side of the little guy, battling the waterfront bully.
When I came to work Monday June 7th, 1982, the office girls were bubbling over with excitement, at first, I thought maybe Art and Larry had finally been able to get someone to invest in the railroad.  but no, they had the incredible news that President Reagan had called Larry at his home that morning.  Of course, it did no take long for the news to reach the media, Larry spent most of that morning doing interviews and fielding questions as to why the President of the United States, who at the time was engaged in an economic summit with the leaders of the other western nations, would take the time to call him, the Vice-President of a tiny railroad, all the way from Versailles, France.
The story was, that at about 7 a.m., while Larry was sitting at the kitchen table in his underwear, drinking a cup of coffee, the phone rang, it was a 'protocol-type' person who said he was a presidential aide and wanted to know Larry's draft card, social security numbers and his mother's maiden name.  When he was satisfied he indeed was talking to Larry Bunting, he instructed Larry when the president called, he was to address him as "Mr. President," and only speak if the president asked him any questions.
Within a few minutes, the phone rang again, and it was President Reagan, who in about a 30 second conversation seemed aware of the dispute over Pier 27, and asked about the likelihood of resolving the dispute with the Port, and certain procedural matters with the I.C.C.  The president did not offer any statement of support.
After the conversation ended, Larry said he just sat there in stunned silence, he just could not comprehend as to what had just taken place.  he kept asking himself, "why in the hell would the president worry about a case like this."  Larry's ego, which was already bigger than he was, (Larry reminded me of Woody Allen), was even bigger, and he was more obnoxious than usual.
It did not take long for the news to reach Washington's congressional delegation.  They were as flabbergasted as the rest of us.  Someone called a White House press aide to see if the president had actually made the call.
After checking with the presidential party in France, the aide reported that no phone call to Bunting appeared on the president's phone log.  If there was such a call it was a HOAX!  This news landed on the S&NC's corporate office like the A-Bomb on Hiroshima!  It was complete chaos, Larry said he was "sick" and went home, leaving poor Art to face the music.  Art issued a statement, "that it was a very sad thing."
On the Olympic Peninsula, Art's and Larry's credibility was already suspect, and this only confirmed what everyone already thought.  Then the knowledge of the people at the Port, rolling in the aisles with laughter was almost more than Art and Larry could endure.
For the next few days, when Art or Larry were not around, whenever the phone would ring, one of the girls would call out, "PRESIDENT REAGAN ON LINE 1."  When talking to Larry, it was very difficult keeping a straight face.
Fortunately the Reagan hoax did not have any effect on the legal procedures that were taking place, and the dispute was settled in favor of the S&NC.
This was one of the more classic examples of my almost indescribable experiences on the Seattle & North Coast Railroad.

"There are no F units around here any more"
A tale from Jeff Pape, Portland

Years ago Susan and I and John and Beverly Davis did a heroic batch of twofer coupons on a weekend in Seattle. The gals shopped and John and I railfanned. We found the SNCT F unit that was being held as collateral at the carfloat landing in Seattle. It was on the old HWY 99, now an industrial boulevard with the waterfront on the West side and a BN yard on the East side. The BN yard was being upgraded into a container reload and a lot of work was going on. John and I scripted a gag. The next day as we drove out of town with the gals to come home we went by the SNCT loco. Bev is a great railfan wife. John and I were intently looking at the BN and discussing it as we seemed to drive by the F unit without seeing it. Bev was going nuts in the back seat babbling about an F unit and John and I drove by it denying the existence of any such units outside of museums all of the time looking left at the BN. We got into a description of a restored NP F an Snoqualimie and so forth. She just about died of frustration trying to get us to see the SNCT unit. It was a good time.

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