RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 11 . . Princeton . . Part 3
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 3 of Chapter 11 . . . Princeton. 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 11 . . . PRINCETON . . . Part 3
In the spring of 1869, Dan graduated from high school. He looked forward to working full time in the Paint Department at the York Car Works. New railways were popping up all over the country; the Works were a busy place. Plans were already being made by Billmeyer & Small to expand the Car Works; they were intent on grabbing as much of the booming railcar building business as possible.
George Billmeyer continued to be given greater responsibility in the office during each summer break. He was finally home for the summer on June 30th, however before anyone knew it, the beginning of the 1869 school year had arrived. George left August 31st to start his junior year at college in Princeton, New Jersey.
The custom of writing home a few times every term continued with George, be it not as often. The letter that George wrote on November 7th was longer than usual.
Warmest Greeting Mom, Dad & Family:
My studies continue to go well. Logic, Psychology, Physical Geography, Mechanics and Mathematics remain my best subjects. Differential Calculus comes naturally to me, not so much Latin. I know not where I will ever use Ciceronis Epistolae, but I suppose the college knows what they’re doing teaching it. I expect to have a very successful term.
Our archrival Rutgers issued a challenge to play something other than Baseball because we always beat them by such wide margins. Rutgers captain got together with our captain William Gummere and devised rules for a game that is a combination of soccer and rugby. The best part, Gummere picked players based on talent and physical ability across the whole school, instead of solely from his senior class. He had a mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores on the team. More than half the team is from my class!
The team has many more players than the baseball nine. Twenty-five players from each team are on the field at one time. You remember Homer Boughner, from my class; he stayed overnight on his way home to West Virginia in June. Homer and myself were selected to play immediately in front of the Rutgers goal. We were known as the captains of the enemy’s goal.
The rest of the team divided into two groups; the fielders and the bull-dozers. The fielders were assigned to certain tracts of the field, which they were to cover but not leave. The bull-dozers were the blockers, they were allowed to move anywhere on the field.
Yesterday, the team and about 100 other Princeton students took the train to the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick for a 3:00 O’clock kick-off. After Rutgers scored the first goal, Gummere instructed junior bull-dozer Ed Michael to break up Rutgers massing around the ball. Big Mike is Ed’s nickname, he lived up to his moniker; repeatedly busting up Rutgers plays.
The score was tied 4 to 4, before Rutgers pulled ahead and won 6 to 4. Afterwards both teams gathered in a nearby building for a scrumptious meal of roasted game birds freshly taken from the Jersey marshes. There were speeches and songs, a fabulous time being had by all.
Our captain William Gummere gave the final speech of the day. He thanked our hosts and issued a challenge to Rutgers for a return contest the following Saturday at Princeton.
Dad, I got your letter on Friday, where you were planning to arrive mid-day that Saturday with Dan and Charlie. Maybe it would be better if you visited the following day; Sunday. Or come later in the day on Saturday, see us play at 3:00 O’clock and stay over until Sunday. Whatever you decide is fine with me.
Looking forward to the visit by everybody, George
Ultimately Charles Billmeyer decided to visit later in the day on Saturday and see George play in the contest. Charles, Charlie and Dan would then stay over until Sunday. Charles did not want to shortchange his son. George Billmeyer had wanted, for some time, to show off Princeton and the campus to Charlie and Dan.
Go to Part 4