Great shout-out from NRHS Chapter in Arkansas

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Nov 29 20:44:31 EST 2022

Really nice article; thanks for sharing.  I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Link at the back of the Mardi Gras on the first 611 trip from Roanoke to Bluefield in 1982.  You can never mistake that unique voice!  There was a line of people stretching from the vestibule door back to his table at the rear waiting to see him and buy items that he’d sign.  When we were visiting with family in Martinsburg about 15 years ago, we drove east to look for my grandparent’s site in Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown WV.  I took pix of their markers but didn’t notice OWL’s headstone until I stepped back from their row.  Wow!  I have no idea why he’s buried there … was it due to fondness for the N&W?  Being from NYC, I figured that would be his resting spot. 


I grew up listening to his records and clearly remember the day my Dad came home from work when I ran to him with such excitement that I’d learned to read a couple lines from the Thunder On Blue Ridge record jacket.  I was probably 4 years old or so.  My Dad bought many railroad records in the 60s and 70s but the Link recordings were my favorite.  More than once, my pitiful little record player was cranked to full volume to hear the pounding Ys.  It’s a wonder I didn’t blow out the speakers!  I was born too late to know N&W steam so recordings and books would suffice.  I still have the record today … including the words I learned to read, underlined in pencil.  I don’t play the record now that I have a full set of CDs from the Society but can see the jacket just by glancing up from my desk and always have a flashback to that day about 60 years ago.


Jim King

P:  (828) 777-5619

E:   <mailto:jimking3 at> jimking3 at

W:  <>


From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> 
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 4:41 PM
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>; Frank Akers <f-akers at>
Subject: Great shout-out from NRHS Chapter in Arkansas


Jim Gattis is editor of THE SCRAMBLER, serving an NRHS Chapter in Arkansas. I was fortunate to be driving by the Depot when Jim was there taking photos, so I stopped, as some of us in the Foundation frequently have the opportunity to do, to offer some history and/or a tour. The rest of the story, as he says, is in an article he wrote for their newsletter. Jim has kindly provided us with full rights to reproduce and share their newsletter. 


Frank Akers, president, and ad hoc tour guide

Rural Retreat Depot Foundation

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