My Dad Wore Overalls

(Reprint from June 2016)

It’s kind of fun sometimes to look back on ordinary things in your life, like my dad wore overalls to work.  Nowadays, that would not be “cool”.  In my youth, it was a common practice, especially since he worked 32 years for the Santa Fe Railroad, a major employer in our town and considered a very good job.

Dad was a mechanic on those big steam engines and worked at the round house in Chanute, where he could just push a button and the big engines would turn around on a kind of turntable.  As small children, we would frequently see him do this and were always amazed.

Sometimes, Dad filled in on other jobs, like meeting the trains at the station if one of them had a problem.  Occasionally, one or two of us got to go with him on a callout when the troop trains came through during WW II.  With no air conditioners or dining cars in those trains, the very young soldiers would hang out the open windows at the stop, and Red Cross ladies and local people would hand them sandwiches and coffee while they were at the station.  I doubt this would be a big thing for kids nowadays, but to us and at that time, it was a big thing, knowing most of these young boys had never been away from home before.

Dad was an easygoing, friendly kind of guy.  He knew all the “rip track” guys by name, and they always treated him with respect, calling him “Charlie”.  We were proud of our dad – he loved us and we knew it.

Looking back on our fathers, we all have these wonderful memories that are really “no big deal”, but, yet, are the things that are a big part of our lives and of growing up to be just who we are today.


Submitted by Ernie C.

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First Christian Church is a Disciples of Christ congregation. Learn more about the Disciples on our Kansas region site and our main denomination page.


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First Christian Church

319 W. Laurel St.
Independence, KS 67301