Like father, like.....daughter? After firing Eccles Lumber Company #3 during most of the Saturday session of the Sumpter Valley Fall Photo Train, Fireman Jennifer Jenks watches as the last of the patrons disembarks, awaiting her own turn to do a little throttle pulling. The day is definitely not over for Ms. Jenks. The locomotives need to be serviced and the trains need to be turned in preparation for Sunday's event. In addition, attendee Pete Lerro is planning a little night session for the other patrons, so the equipment needs to be set up for that as well.
My opening tag-line is definitely appropriate here, because Jennifer Jenks happens to be the daughter of Sam McCloskey, one of Sumpter Valley's regular Engineers and a key member of their Mechanical Department. Jennifer has been actively involved in train operations for at least the past 3 years and according to her dad, is a Diesel Mechanic herself. It is quite possible that Sam and Jennifer are the only fully qualified, father-daughter steam cab crew in the US, although I know of at least one other young woman, who is following in her dad's footsteps, and is in training at a museum out west. It's great to see young people taking an interest in preserving and operating these historic machines, and it's also great that it's no longer just the boys who play with trains!