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Gary Allen

March 06, 2019 03:56AM
I just got the sad news that Gary Allen has died. He had been in declining health for a number
of years, but had managed to get out to a mutual friends memorial in Southern CA a year ago April
and we got to renew old times there.

Gary was retired from the trucking industry in lived in Caliente near Tehachapi, CA. If I'm correct,
he was 84. He had a nice display of signals in his front yard

In 1955 or 56, he hired out in engine service on the S.P. First thing he did was to ask everybody
he met just where any remaining steam was. This got him a lot of flak and he was told that there was
no future in that and that he ought to be getting diesel experience.

He didn't listen and ended up out at Indio where he learned hostling. He proudly told me that was was able
to move GS-4 types 4444 and 4446 by himself while there. He also got some time on locals in the Imperial
Valley. It was on one of these jobs where without asking an OK from the crew, that he stepped off the 2-6-0
that he was firing, with his grip, took out his 4 by 5 camera and started taking photographs. The hogger was livid
and made him sit in the seat for the rest of the day without any help whatsoever. He said he learned his lesson.

Gary later was an extra brakeman on the Sierra Railroad a few times, usually for movie train work.

The narrow gauge connection here is that Gary traveled quite a lot and had a least one article with a cover photo
published in the old Railroad magazine of FEGUA in Guatemala. Freeman Hubbard sent me a dozen copies
right before I made a March 1973 trip with Al Shelton and these were a huge hit with crews down there.

On a McCloud River snow trip in early 1972, he told me that he was returning for another trip to Guatemala and was
going to try to get a couple of plates. Would I like one? I got a call a couple of weeks later and he just said " You owe
me $5.00, $2.00 for the plate and $3.00 for the overweight fee on Pan Am". I still have the plate.

Gary was as thoughtful a man as you'd ever hope to know. About a dozen of us used to meet once a year at his place
for a big BBQ and slide show. The screen was set up outside in his yard and passing trains used to toot their horns
as they passed.

I'm most grateful to have had him as a friend.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2019 05:11AM by Tom Moungovan.
Subject Author Posted

Gary Allen

Tom Moungovan March 06, 2019 03:56AM

Re: Gary Allen

Russo Loco March 06, 2019 09:41AM

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