RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 10 . . Work . . Part 1
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 1 of Chapter 10 . . . Work. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 10 . . . WORK . . . Part 1
The end of the Civil War saw the return of several older friends of Dan & George. They had served their country gallantly. These soldiers were now young men although they occasionally lapsed into tales of their childhood.
These veterans could mesmerize their former schoolmates with stories of their adventures, however these tales nearly always lapsed into the horrors of war and sagas of fellow soldiers who did not return.
Many times during the war, Dan had thoughts that he wished he were old enough to enlist. After hearing firsthand these accounts about the horrors of war, he had even more respect of the bravery of those who served.
George was happy that his whole family survived the war intact, as opposed to the families of many of his friends and acquaintances at his father’s business. George always liked it when his father took him to the York Car Works to show him how the company functioned or on the rare occasion give him a small job to keep him occupied.
Charles Billmeyer always told George, “When you’re 16-years-old, I’ll grant your wish to work here; not before.” After completing the 10th grade of school in the spring of 1865, George was 16-years-old. He held his Father to his promise.
George was assigned work in a different department every two weeks. His Father told him, “Ask a lot of questions, because I’ll quiz you later.”
Dan missed hanging out with George that summer. However every evening Dan quizzed George on what he did and what he observed during work that day. Dan was always full of suggestions. George would usually have a reason for why things had to be done a certain way, however occasionally was impressed with what Dan had to offer.
Dan kept bugging Charles to let him work at the Car Works, he begged, “I’ll do anything.” Charles relented a little following Dan’s birthday on July 4th; he was now 14-years-old.
Dan accompanied Charles to the York Car Works bright and early on Monday morning July 10th. He was put on the payroll as a part-time worker in the painting department; his job, rubbing-down and polishing with sandpaper prior to and between paint coats.
Charles only let Dan work 4-hours a day at first, until the final two weeks before the start of school. Charles called Dan to his office, “ I never expected you to last this long. You have not complained once in doing a job most do not want. I’ve received feedback that you take great pride in your workmanship. If you want to work full days for the next two weeks, I’ll approve.” Dan enthusiastically accepted.
George and Dan thoroughly enjoyed working at the Car Works that summer and looked forward to working there the following summer. In the fall of 1865 it was back to school for both of them. George was starting the 11th grade and Dan the 9th grade.
The boys, and all of York’s citizenry, looked forward to the York Fair that year. With the war over, Camp Scott was deactivated. This Union Army camp occupied the York Fairgrounds continuously throughout the Civil War. It was a training site and winter quarters for tens of thousands of northern soldiers.
Dan had been to the fair briefly in 1860, months after arriving in York. This fair during the fall of 1865 would be his second fair. The fair that year on October 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th did not disappoint the boys.
Dan and George attended the York Fair all four days. They thoroughly enjoyed the fair atmosphere. Farmers celebrated the harvest and showed off their prize livestock. Manufacturers showed off their new products. Just watching everybody enjoying them selves was a treat. And then there were all those great foods and snacks. Dan’s favorites were ginger cakes and red lemonade.
Go to Part 2