When I was 17 and 18 I worked two summers as a sectionman on the main line of the CNR near my home. The summer was utilized by the railroad to change rotting railroad ties which was the section gang's job. The BandB outfit would deliver the freshly coated creosoted ties to the track and dump them off the flat bed car onto the right-of-way where they were needed . The ties usually slipped down the right-of way slope to the bottom. Every change of ties in the early 50s was done by hand, not machine and one at a time since on the main line of the CNR there were multiple trains each day and if one tie was removed, that was fine but many would be a disaster. My job was to retrieve the ties down the slope and carry them up to the rail and carry the rotten ties away. I don't remember how heavy the ties were but they were heavy and I was young and strong. As I think about Rheumatoid arthritis, being eighty and morning stiffness, staggering to the bathroom in the early morning with a broad based gait, I remember carrying up a slope, thickly creosoted ties, balanced on my shoulder hour after hour and know in my heart with gratitude, that to everything, there is a season.
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