For all my friends

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For all my friends
Posted by edblysard on Saturday, December 24, 2011 7:10 PM


For my friends on, and off the forum,

Hoping you all have a very Merry Christmas.


Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the yard,

All the switchmen were switching, some working quite hard.

The grips were all hung by the shanty with care,

In the hopes that a time slip would soon show up there.

The trainmasters were nestled, all snug in their beds,

While visions of test failures danced in their heads.

The hogger in his kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a sneakey quick nap.

When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from our motor to see "what's the matter?"

Away from the cab, I flew in a flash,

To line all the switches, and stop a bad crash.

The moon on the field of new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a worn out SD40, dragging eight old reindeer.

Run by an old hogger, who looked like St. Nick,

I knew in a moment, I had to act quick.

At yard speed the 40 down my lead he now came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

"To the top of the yard, we'll cross over them all,

Now drag away drag away, drag away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the top end the old 40 flew,

With a gon full of toys, and Saint Nicholas too!

And then in a twinkling, I heard an old horn,

Blowing for the brakes, soft and forlorn.

As I threw down my lantern and was turning around,

Down the old 40s steps the old hogger bound.

He was twitchy and wormy, from his head to his feet,

His yard list all folded and sorted, quite neat.

A bundle of time slips he had flung on his back,

He looked like a peddler opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

He filled all those grips, then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, to the seat box he rose,

He notched out his 40, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."


With sincere apologies to the Reverend Moore...


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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, December 24, 2011 10:21 PM

Well done Ed, well done!  Well, as it's 23:20 hours it's time I secured the butts.  Santa's inbound, so I better be in the sack!   Merry Christmas to you Sir!

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Posted by Modelcar on Saturday, December 24, 2011 10:35 PM

......Nice, as usual Ed.


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Posted by cherokee woman on Sunday, December 25, 2011 6:17 AM

Thank you, Ed!!  It wouldn't have been Christmas, without your wonderful version of The Night Before Christmas.  May you and your family have a wonder, Happy and Merry Christmas. 

Angel cherokee woman "O'Toole's law: Murphy was an optimist."
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Posted by eolafan on Sunday, December 25, 2011 9:59 AM


Eolafan (a.k.a. Jim)
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Posted by jeaton on Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:37 AM

Merry Christmas to all!


"We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo Possum "We have met the anemone... and he is Russ." Bucky Katt "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics

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Posted by switch7frg on Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:41 AM

Yes  Very good Ed.  I will continue to attened your Table of contents.

           Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.


Y6bs evergreen in my mind

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Posted by beaulieu on Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:50 AM

Very nice Ed, Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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Posted by CShaveRR on Sunday, December 25, 2011 8:51 PM

Just caught this after returning home.  Thanks for making Christmas complete! 

(Also, thanks for your other Christmas story, which I shamelessly reposted in the Trackside Lounge.  Brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.)

Merry Christmas, Ed and Aimee, and all of your offspring, from the two of us--Pat and...


Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

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Posted by edblysard on Sunday, December 25, 2011 8:58 PM

And a Merry Christmas to you and Pat, and all of yours, hope the rest of the trip goes great.

Ed, Aimee and the girls...


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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, December 26, 2011 9:11 PM


    This another one of my favorite Christmas Stories as well as the one about the 'Story of Shep'. 

  I was hoping you'd post it before I had left to go visit family over Christmas. 

I printed it off last year and took copies to a couple of nephews. They asked me about it again this year, and told me how much they had enjoyed it, again.

Thanks and Happy New Year

to You, your bride, and the girls!




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