Went to central Pennsylvania to see a close friend (Pastor Harry Wonderland) retire from the Pastorate. He served our church for 12 years before moving to Danville and serving for another 26 years. He and a Sunday School teacher (Ed Evans) I had as a child had the most Christian impact on my life. Both men were models of Christ-like love. When Harry left our local church he left a hole in my emotional heart. But seeing him again it felt like he had never been gone. At his retirement service non-church members (head of local school system) and national church leaders lauded his character and work ethic. Particularly telling was that someone had secretly taped his routine when he would arrive early Sunday mornings and stop and pray over each pew because he knew the people that sat there, their lives, and struggles. His children all grew up to love and serve the Lord in their own families and careers. The world could use a few million more men like him.
On the way home we stopped to see the beautiful railroad station at Mauck Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA. Evidently the scenic trains only run on the weekends so we missed out on that but managed to get a few shots of the tourist train and station. I thought the engine was a GP30 but it was labeled as a GP39RN. It was initially a GP30 when the ATSF got it. It was rebuilt to GP38-2 standards and, as it says on the side of the engine, the R&N refers to it as a GP39RN's. It is not the same as the handful (23) of GP39's built new by EMD. Neither was it the same as EMD's GP39-2's which sold 200+ units.
While in Mauck Chunk / Jim Thorpe to see the station (and miss the train) we stopped in to the town’s main museum. We got to watch a video on the area’s history. They claim to have started the industrial revolution in America. Evidently the area was used to provide coal for Philadelphia after the British cut off supplies in the Revolutionary War. Canals were used to get it to Philadelphia (and then the Lehigh Valley Railroad took over the chores). Initially a steep incline (they called themselves the Swiss Alps of America) got the coal down to the river.
The museum also contains an N scale model railroad (non-running) of the area, railroadian items, period dresses and pianos, and models of the downtown station. An interesting $5 investment of time!
As a final note I loved my Father’s Day gift: