Railroad Walker Evoked Memories
Several readers have voiced their displeasure of The Pilot’s photo of the young lady walking the rails in Southern Pines (Feb. 15). They predicted dire consequences, including bodily injury and fines for railroad “trespassers.”
For me, the photo evoked memories of a time when children created their own recreation. In the 1930s, ’40s and early ’50s, we did not have organized playtime. No soccer mom chauffers with the SUV.
Our playgrounds were empty lots, the streets, rivers and, yes, the railroad tracks. Most of us learned to walk the rails and jump from one to the other at an early age.
There was a lot of slipping and falling, but the rails are only 7 inches high. Not a long fall. No one that I know of was killed or badly injured. When a train went through, we got a little toot from the whistle and a friendly wave from the engineer.
I think that prior generations grew up to be hardier and more self-reliant than the current stock. We learned to create our own fun without adult supervision and without protective equipment.
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