April 25, 1987: This is one of those moments I'll never forget. Bob McCracken, Jim Nichols, Max Graber, Bob Quillen and I had driven--in a heavy rain--to this point just east of Narrows, VA to witness the first public excursion of restored N&W Class A 1218. In those days, there was no internet access, so we had to rely on some sketchy information from friends within the railroad about this run. We also had to guess where we might intercept the engine as it went west to Bluefield, so the consensus was Narrows would be the best spot. I had seen N&W Class Y6s and Js (and other classes) as a youngster---but not one of the storied As. We waited under umbrellas with our ears cocked to hear that distinctive N&W "hooter" whistle. And when I finally DID hear it off in the distance, it made my neck hairs stand up! And then you could hear that distinctive double exhaust around the distant curve---and then she was upon us! I'm so glad I got to see this engine in operation for the fairly brief period of time she was back on the rails. This moment will always be seared in my memory.