The young man passed his physical and was hired to mark up in Oklahoma City. While doing his student training the friendly crew caller asked him,
"Do you have a rain suit? You're gonna need one. Just tell me, and we'll get one for you. The cost will be taken out of your check".
Since the average annual rainfall for that region is 37 inches, a rain suit was requested. Along came a yellow, two piece pvc rain suit made by Uniroyal, and it usually stayed folded up inside the brakeman's grip. When needed it worked well and kept the brakeman fairly dry except for that day on a road switcher when a boxcar had to be set out on the Old House track in Lawton. The clouds were low and dark. The weather was at one of those stages when the skies are threatening but all is dead-calm. After dropping off, stopping the train to clear and cutting away with the setout the first drops of rain started to fall. Then the wind quickly increased from zero to a point where you have to lean into it to keep from being blown over. The rain is now falling sideways and stings where it hits your face. Switches are thrown, derails are flipped, and the boxcar is set out and tied down...dang, if it wasn't an old car with a high brake wheel. No radios were used in the process. Bob Moore is a good engineer, and he wears a rain jacket with a gathered hood that enables him to lean out the cab window and take signals without getting drowned.
The job is done, and while the train is building air the brakeman comes back into the cab. The weather is starting to moderate.
"Are you okay?", asks Bob.
"Yes, I don't have on a dry thread despite this rain suit, but what's up?"
" I couldn't see it but I know a tornado passed right by us."
(Oklahoma people know their tornados; don't doubt them).
Since I was a short-timer I don't have many stories, plus they're not that good. But I like to post something from time to time because it usually gets the career guys in the mood to tell their really good ones. Let's see if it works one more time.