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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

It Takes One To Know One

"So D.B. what's with this Casey Jones groove?"

"What's with what groove?" (Indignation).

"You know the train driver dude."


"Yeah - the dude groove - what gives?"

"We're still talking about Casey Jones, right?"

"That's right, the guy who crashed his train, killed himself."

"He sacrificed his life for others, dim wit. Casey's a hero - a universal one at that."

"Yeah, Universal Pictures."

"Watch your mouth, boy."

"What about this from the wreck report: Reports received to date indicate that Engineer Jones of the passenger train, who lost his life in the accident, was alone responsible for the accident as train No. 83 which was obstructing the main track at Vaughan sawing by train No. 26 was properly protected by flagman, who had gone back a distance of 3000 feet, where he had placed torpedoes on the rail; then continued north a further distance of 500 to 800 feet, where he stood and gave signals to train No. l; which signals, however, were apparently not observed by Engineer Jones: nor is it believed he heard the explosion of the torpedoes as his train continued toward the station at a high rate of speed, notwithstanding the fact it was moving up a grade; collision occurring at a point 2l0 feet north of the north passing track switch. It is also stated that Engineer Jones of train No.l failed to sound the whistle for the station when passing the whistle board. "

"Mere speculation."

"What about this then? - Jones entered the service of this company as fireman in March, l888, was promoted to position of engineer in February, l890, since which date his record has been as follows:-
Suspended 10 days February 14, 1891, for collision Water Valley Yard;
Suspended 5 days January 17, 1893, running through switch, Carbondale;
Suspended 5 days for running through switch at Villa Ridge:
Suspended 10 days December 6, 1893, for striking flat car in siding;
Suspended 15 days January 4, 1896, rear end collision extra north and No. 92 at Toone, December 20, 1895;
Suspended 30 days June 16, 1896, for gross carelessness in handling orders at Jackson, Tenn., train 2/52, June 3rd, in violation of rules 509, 509-a and 519;
Suspended 30 days September 3, 1896, sectional collision near Hickory Valley August 27, 1896, train extra north, engine 618;
Suspended 10 days September 22, 1897, for not recognizing flagman who was protecting work train extra, engine 106, as required by train rules;
Suspended 30 days for having left switch open at cross over in north yard, resulting in train No. 21 running in on siding May 22, 1899;

Where's your hero now?"

"The guy's a legend. Take it from Dead Beat. It takes one to know one."

An Irish Heart As Big As Your Body

So Dead beat has been thinking about Casey Jones recently. And why wouldn't he having been riding the rails these last few weeks?
Old D.B. remembers talking to CJ's wife some time back: "My husband's real name was John Luther Jones," she told him. "He was a loveable lad - 6 feet 4 1/2 inches in height, darkhaired and gray-eyed. Always he was in good humor and his Irish heart was as big as his body."
Come all you rounders that want to hear
The story of a brave engineer.
Casey Jones was the rounder's name,
On a six eight wheeler, boys, he won his fame.
Casey Jones mounted to his cabin,
Casey Jones with his orders in his hand
Casey Jones mounted to his cabin,
And he took his farewell trip to that promised land.
The caller call Casey at half past four,
He kissed his wife at the station door,
He mounted to the cabin with the orders in his hand,
And he took his farewell trip to that promised land.
When he pulled up that Reno hill,
He whistled for the crossing with an awful shrill;
The switchman knew by the engine's moan
That the man at the throttle was Casey Jones.
He looked at his water and his water was low;
He looked at his watch and his watch was slow;
He turned to his fireman and this is what he said,
"Boy, we're going to reach Frisco, but we'll all be dead."
"So turn on your water and shovel in your coal,
Stick you head out the window, watch those drivers roll;
I'll drive her till she leaves the rail,
For I'm eight hours late by that Western Mail.
When he was within six miles of the place,
There number four stared him straight in the face.
He turned to his fireman, said "Jim you'd better jump,
For there're two locomotives that are going to bump.
Casey said just before he died,"There're two more roads I would like to ride."
The fireman said, "Which ones can they be?"
"Oh the Northern Pacific and the Santa Fe."
Mrs. Jones sat at her bed a-sighing
Just to hear the news that her Casey was dying.
"Hush up children, and quit your crying',
For you've got another poppa on the Salt Lake Line."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thinking The Day - Ross Leckie

Dead Beat has moved into Ross Leckie country - D.B. thinks you would want to read this poem by the man himself - even if you have better things you think you should be doing - because you haven't.


Now is a time of thinness, the treetops
bare like the parts of speech diagrammed.

This the substratum of the way we speak
the keener edges of longer nights,

of livid greens blanched to paler
orange and yellows. The remnants

of a cow in a stockyard drained of blood,
maple leaves holding to the memory.

The way the day was fat with sunlight,
gone like a cloud of summer gnats.

A shriveled pear has leaked its juice
upon a paving stone and the buzz

of a late wasp is below the threshold
of hearing, the wings slower as if its

battery were wearing down. Autumn
rains have settled in to a smother of

low-lying thoughtfulness unmoving
in the sky, the street a matte of charcoal.

When the fire engine scuttled past,
it seemed it could not control the blaze,

the siren screamed of the urgent trees
bursting everywhere with saintliness.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dead Beat A.K.A. Casey Jones

Dead Beat has been riding the rails - all the way over to New Brunswick where he has taken up residence. So he has been on mute for a while, but he's back in a manner of speaking. Seeing as how he grew up on a healthy dose of Casey Jones, he's been having a good time however.
Now that his internet is up and running I guess he can start riding the cyber rails for a while instead.