A gift of time, the Old Underwood

Mildred Higgins
Mildred Higgins

The gift of time with my grandpa Hammons and memories of typing on the old Underwood typewriter is a childhood memories that is as clear today as in the days long ago.

Grandpa was a stationmaster for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the L&N.

My best memories were the days through summer vacation he would take me to work with him…He traveled to stations to relieve or fill-in, for other station masters… I now know how lucky I was to visit several depot stations with him. The trip that stands out the most is the first time he asked me to go.  We left before daybreak heading to the Artemus depot, with brown paper sack lunches, a thermos of coffee for him, and a fruit jar filled with grandma’s southern sweet tea for me.  I loved my Grandpa he was a pleasant man ,he was sensitive to my needs. He made sure he had time to spend with each of his grand children. In those days that was special as children were to be seen and not heard.

To have a grandpa, who would listen, was special.

I was full of questions one this first trip he explained the day would be long and he promised to help me not to be bored.

The old station was dark until grandpa turned on the over head light and asked me to hang up his hat.  Then he explained to start the business he must opened the telegraph lines and then he had something for me to do. I was eager to do anything   that would help. I loved everything my eyes saw. He explained to me that I could not touch the machines on his side of the room . However on the other side near the ticket window was a desk with lots of papers, pens and an Underwood typewriter.

Grandpa said I could fill out envelopes for him on the typewriter. He said “Take your time and practice, take as long as you need.  I was happy to hear those words, and enjoyed playing on the old Underwood.

The day got better!!! Lunch time came and we enjoyed our sack lunch as we sat and talked.

At the end of the day it came time to close the station, I circled the room my eyes lingered on the old Underwood typewriter.  I appreciated grandpa allowing me to type on it. I felt special that he made work for me to do. This was a small gift of time to a young girl; it opened up my small world for awhile.

To this day I remember with great love and appreciation the time spent with grandpa Hammons, and the old Underwood typewriter.

Millie’s quote for today, grandparents somehow sprinkle a sense of stardust over grandchildren” {unknown}

Mildred Higgins

russandmill@netzero.net