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17 I ever had anything to do with. The electrical man was Ralph Ballard, a pasty-faced, sharp-nosed guy who certainly didn't appear, very healthy but drank like a fish; however, he was probably the most dedicated of the group if that term is at all applicable to any of them, which I doubt. I rather liked Ralph. In fact, I rather liked them all because they were a likable crew in spite of their shortcomings, practically none of which hurt us in any way that I was aware of. They were all very friendly, which is not a recommended attitude for a truly good inspector according to Ed Kelly of the New Haven. Ed said that his boss would regularly advise all of the New Haven inspectors that if they didn't acquire reputations for being first class sons of bitches, they weren't doing a good job. The air brake man was Chuck Depew, whom I can't remember too well. Then there was Jack Sheahan, who quit during the job to become a Chicago fireman--he had long cherished the idea of joining the Chicago Fire Department and virtually drooled when he thought of exercising the opportunity to crash an axe through someone's living room wall--in fact, that vision provided the major motive for his leaving the railroad and becoming a fireman. Jack would say, "Imagine standing there in somebody's parlor and looking at a big wall all covered with pictures and papered beautiful, and then just swinging your axe at it and choppin' it to pieces--[[underlined]] and gettin' paid for it [[/underlined]]!" There was Frank Cummings whose specialty was engines and the mechanical portion but I cant remember him at all. This group set up operations in Erie just as soon as the locomotives entered the manufacturing phase. They had an office on the fifth floor of Bldg. 14 in close proximity to the Blueprint Dept. When they arrived, George Bennett was still single and his Don Juan activities were in full flower--in fact, I gathered that they had been in full flower ever since an early puberty in the deep south. The only male in the Blueprint Dept. was the boss, Bob Normine, who governed a force of dozens of females, mostly young and many, pretty tough kids. This was simply multiple grist for George's mill and right next door at that. George made no bones about his proclivities and activities--in fact, he'd frequently brag about his prowess and the sensational equipment with which he was endowed. On the wall of the office near his desk, he had a large calendar on which he had recorded for a month or so in advance, the days when his friends would be "unavailable." These friends were not confined to the Blueprint Dept. but he had them located almost anywhere in the plant where his duties took him. And he carried on this activity with neither embarrassment nor regret of any sort. He wasn't much of a drinker nor did he smoke as I recall, but he pursued the girls just as naturally as most men drink or smoke. And the ironic thing about it is that probably, if the truth were known, it did him far less harm than drinking or smoking. To him, it was a perfectly normal pursuit. He had no hang-up of any sort concerning it.
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