Johnny Cafe Knowledge

For many years on the Railroad I worked into Glasgow, Montana and spent more hours than I care to think about in the Johnny Café, eating and drinking coffee. Amazing what you learn in a Greasy Spoon on the other end of the Railroad line. The café had a lot of booths and some 2 person booths were attached to 4 person booths, so it was very hard not to overhear the next booth’s conversation even for a deaf person.

Old Railroader going on his last run

One particular day I sat adjacent to an older man and a younger one. The younger one was from back East and visiting the older man who was from Scobey in northeastern Montana. The younger fellow was talking about the wind and how it always seemed to blow when he came to visit. He finally asked the older man what native Montanan’s did when the wind didn’t blow? The older man replied that we all play softball that “One” day. End of conversation.

Another time I sat next to an older retired Engineer from Glasgow. His sons worked for the Railroad so I knew the old guy fairly well. That particular morning the conversation turned to the dreaded mosquitoes that attacked you instantly when you ventured outside anywhere in Glasgow that summer. I asked the old boy if he could ever remember a summer when the mosquitoes were any worse? He looked at me and said there isn’t a “Single” mosquito in Glasgow. After an awkward silence he said, “All these mosquitoes are married and have large families.” Railroad education early in the morning comes from all sources.


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