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Re: Side Track to D&S Trip Report 8/5/18/Bruce Anderson RIP

August 09, 2018 12:37PM
Bruce Anderson was a radio personality and one of the most widely known figures in Durango. Besides his radio program as Cousin Brucie he was very active in various community organizations most especially the FFA (Future Farmers of America for you city folk. It was very big in my hometown back in Nebraska). He was especially fun at the annual cat & dog contests for Snowdown.
I honestly don't know who did what but I know he worked closely with Yvonne in organizing the photo freight charters for the D&S and probably more. At this point Bruce & I were on a "hi Bruce" "hi Hank" basis on Main Street.
Then everything changed as he suffered a massive heart attack at his desk and had to be airlifted to Denver.There was a lot of community support especially from the railroad which presented him a full length photo signed by most of the employees. He was in Denver & various rehab programs for at least 6 months and then returned in Durango to be placed into a local nursing facility. He was in very poor physical state with a lot of pain & discomfort but his mind was as keen as ever.

I didn't really meet Bruce until my own mother was placed into the nursing home. Since I knew he was there it was easy to find him.He started out by saying "Hi Hank...I was wondering if you were going to stop by. And for the next three years we talked about trains. I went up every evening to see my mother but her mental condition wasn't good. Always made a point of talking to Bruce...sometimes the conversations were short as he was having problems, sometimes long as we considered the Prairie locomotive in the park at Hutchinson KS. We didn't cut each other any slack, in fact the final time I met we had a challenge over the tractive effort (or some other detail) of the UP 8444 v SP 4449. I came prepared the next day to admit that I was wrong but he was hospitalized and within a few days he had passed.
I arranged with the railroad, the nursing facility, doctors, guardians etc to take him up to Silverton a couple of times. He was greeted by everybody including Al Harper. I couldn't help but notice that the disability car was named after the Bitter Root Mine which he had lovingly restored. We didn't talk much as he was silently staring out the window. We passed the Bitter Root Mine and maybe he was staring even closer. I wanted to take him up to Silverton more often but it didn't happen.
His memorial train was on a fine August afternoon with quite a crowd as you can see. His ashes were placed into the fire box and Bill Colley ran a highball past the mine.It was a fitting tribute.

Sorry I'm so long winded but next week marks the 4th anniversary of his passing. RIP

Hank Wright
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Side Track to D&S Trip Report 8/5/18 Attachments

rockrdg August 08, 2018 10:11AM

Re: Side Track to D&S Trip Report 8/5/18/Bruce Anderson RIP

Husker Hank August 09, 2018 12:37PM

Re: Side Track to D&S Trip Report 8/5/18/Bruce Anderson RIP

Samart August 11, 2018 07:46AM

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