GMR Mogul #89 catches the eye of a youngster as it waits for its return trip to Bellows Falls, Vt. I have reason to believe the man at the throttle is F. Nelson Blount (founder of Steamtown) himself. Here's why:
This shot was taken the day after I had chased an excursion featuring CNR 4-8-4 #6218 from New London, Ct. to Brattleboro, Vt. on a day in July, '66 which I can't pin-point. I had driven to North Walpole, NH the next day to visit Steamtown (the equipment was still there on the NH side at that time), and booked a round trip to Chester on the GMR tourist run pulled by the mogul in the pic. That train was to depart from the yard on the Bellows Falls side of the river which would subsequently become the Steamtown site before the move to Scranton, PA. The departure was delayed. Reason being given: the engineer had not arrived in time. Then I heard the sound of a small private plane approach the yard and saw it land in a roughly fashioned airstrip north of the yard. Out of the cockpit stepped the pilot dressed for locomotive engineering. He mounted the cab of #89 and away we went. Subsequently, I was informed (either by the conductor, or a passenger - I can't remember exactly), that the engineer was Blount himself. He would unfortunately perish in a crash of his private airplane the following year.
I hope the kid (now in his 50's, I guess) still loves steam locomotives. That's how old I was when I fell in love with 'em.
Scanned from a 35 mm slide.