Page 32 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneOne day one of my friends came along with a wood box with rope handles and I asked him what he had. He opened the box and showed me a bunch of red and square packets that were wrapped with lead straps. The packets were labeled “Dynamite.” Some how he had taken them from a railroad maintenance shed. They were signals, “torpedoes” that the crews strapped onto the tracks to signal the locomotive engineer of impending danger. The blast could be heard a half mile away. What to do with them? As the trolley ambled its way towards us, we hid in the alley to watch the results. As the trolley hit the two packets that we had placed on the tracks, It went, boom, boom. I swear to this day that the wheels and axles lifted clear off of the tracks. The passengers who had been riding along and nodding after a long days work or reading their newspapers were suddenly jolted out of their seats. Since the War was still going on, they must have thought that it was Pearl Harbor all over again. There was a long screech as the motorman applied the brakes and a large bump as it grind to a halt. The motorman jumped from the car and gave us a half-hearted chase as he did not know what awaited him in uncharted territory. The next day, I asked my friend what he did with the rest of the torpedoes and he said, “My father took them away.”32

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