Summary: We need to get on board and get ready for the soon coming of the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (KJV)
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
We were very poor while I was growing up, but I have some wonderful memories of my early childhood. My dad would take me to town every other Saturday for us to get our haircut at my uncle’s barber shop. My dad’s haircut was 50 cents and mine was 25 cents.
The barber shop was upstairs in one of the old downtown buildings. The windows were wide and went from the ceiling to the floor. I would set in the window while waiting to get my hair cut. The barber shop was on Main Street, and the Southern Railway Depot was across the street from the barber shop.
It was a highlight for me to watch the passenger trains come into the station. They would pull up and stop and the conductor would get off the train. Mr. Bryant from the post office would drive up in his old green dodge truck and would load and unload mail bags from the truck and the train. Then he would slowly drive about 4 city blocks down Main Street to the post office with his newly arrived mail.
It was fascinating for me to watch this on my barbershop visits. I enjoyed watching the conductor do his work quickly while the train was stopped. I would watch the train slowly pull into the station and come to a complete stop. The conductor would open the door and let the steps of the train down before stepping off the train.
The conductor was always dressed up in his conductor’s uniform. He always wore a conductor’s hat, and a long chain hung down from his belt that was connected to his train pocket watch in his pocket.
The conductor was a very important person on the train. He was the person that kept things on track. He supervised and coordinated the activities of the train. He was in charge of the entire train and its crew. He was responsible for the train, and its contents. It was his job to see that the train got to its destination safely and on time. He was responsible for seeing that the train operated efficiently and stayed on schedule. His pocket watch was an important piece of his equipment.
All railroad employees were required to carry the same kind of watch. They were manufactured to a particular specification that was prescribed by the railroads and the Federal Railway Administration. All employees’ watches underwent an annual inspection by a certified watchmaker or jeweler repairman. The watchmaker would give the employee a card as proof of inspection and also made a report to the railroad company.
Any employee that did not get their watch inspected was taken out of service. If the watch did not pass inspection, they had to be repaired or replaced. At the beginning of each tour of duty, all members of each train crew were required to compare time with each other and the standard clock in the depot. If they did not have access to a standard clock, they were required to compare with the nearest train order Operator or Train Dispatcher
It was the conductor’s job to watch signals, observe track conditions and open and close track switches, set and release hand-brakes and connect air brake hoses to couple and switch cars. Passenger Train Conductors were responsible for collecting tickets and dealing with passengers. The conductor must be physically fit. He had to possess a certain amount of stamina and coordination to walk the length of a moving train
The conductor ensured the passenger safety and comfort as they went about collecting tickets and fares, making announcements for the benefit of passengers, and coordinating activities of the crew to provide passenger services.
The conductor would take the tickets and help everyone get on board the train. Before he boarded himself, he would yell, “all aboard” while he was still on the ground. The "all aboard" was for the benefit of the passengers, in case someone was still on the platform or in the station that was supposed to catch that particular train.