.....These are a series of more or less true tales of the time that I spent working for the L&N Railroad- which I occasionally heard referred to as "The Long and Nasty Railroad." .....These are all the Railroad stories at present; but if y'all like them; I have a couple novels in progress. ............................................................................................... .....Survival with No Style This happened to me back in 1980. You know, I never really took a lesson from it back then. It hasn't been 'till I started reading this forum; that the absurdity of it struck me; and to this day; I cannot see how I could have been so stupid- although I did do a lot of speed back then; every day. I welcome y'all's comments. First, the bare story. We were working near Beattyville, Kentucky. We'd been living right in Beattyville; but then they moved us just a bit to the East; close to Talega; and within a stone's throw of Palmer's Pay Lake. I had been staying in camp on the wekends; to save on gas money. I never could handle money very well. I called my folks and asked them to send me a letter with a Postal money order in it; delivered "in care of general delivery." the local post office. My money didn't get there Friday. The PO was closed on Saturday; and Monday was a holiday- and I only had a couple bucks. I went and bought me two big danish bear claws; and two 16 Oz Cokes. While I was driving; I dropped one of my bear claws on the floor. I'd only taken one bite out of it. The floor was coated with fine "kitty-litter" sized gravel; so eating it wasn't much of an option. I had enough change for a couple machine Cokes later on; and that was it. Now remember, I thought of myself as a Survivalist. I read Mel Tappan's column every month. Read everything I could by Jeff Cooper; Elmer Keith; Skeeter Skelton; Ragnar Benson; Chuck Taylor; etc. I knew JB Wood; and Earl Keller. I went to the range every weekend that I was home; and fired 300-500 rounds of .45ACP; and varying ammounts of .38S&W; .38 Special; .357; .44 Magum, 12 Gauge and .22LR. I spent an hour every night drawing and dry-firing my .45Autos. Then I practiced cutting and slashing the air with my Bowie Knife. I had four Guns that I generally carried with me on the road. .45 Colt 70s series Government Model- heavily customized by JB; I had a Colt Combat Commander in .45; I had a 2inch Charter Undercover in .38 Special- go ahead, laugh at me; I was young; And a nickel plated, Pearl-Handled H&R Breaktop in .38S&W. The breaktop was for pretty. I had my 9 inch Western Bowie; a 5 inch Western Skinner;a Buck Esquire; and a pocket knife. I had a Boy Scout backpack with 300 rounds of .45ACP; 150 rounds of .38; and 75 or eighty rounds of .38S&W. I had a big wad of nylon braided string; a couple Bic Lighters; my Boy Scout Compass; a cleaning kit; and I had a change of clothes. That was my bug-out bag- such as it was. I could fill my tank up with Railroad Gas; though I wasn't supposed to. So I could drive; or stay in the van; run the air conditioning; and listen to the Radio as much as I wanted. I could get all the water that I wanted from the camp cars; but the electricity wasn't hooked up yet. Well people, there was a fairly big snake lying in the middle of the dirt road. He started to look good to me; so I decided to eliminate temptation.(Knowing what I do now; I'd probably eat him.) I poured a pop bottle full of gasolene on him; and set it afire. Got a whiff of roasted flesh; and my empty stomach turned over. Boy, he smelled good. I caught a half dozen craw-deads from the stream. I kept thinking each one might very well be the last; so I'd eat it raw. If I'd have saved them; they'd have made a nice serving. Walked around in the woods; armed with .45 Auto and .38Shotshell. I was determined to shoot anything edible that I came across. Didn't see a frazzlin' thing. Heard chickens crowing. Thought about the pros and cons of chicken thievery. It works for Snuffy Smith after all; but I would have been too ashamed to get caught. Finally late Monday afternoon, Big Steve pulled into camp. I quickly borrowed some money; and went to the store for victuals. While I was sitting chowing down; a big ; Big black cat came strutting through the camp; as if he owned it. You nasty little gob of good protein; and bad manners- where were you; when you could have fed me? Now how I expected to bug home; if I had to abandon the van; eludes me. It never occurred to me; to stockpile food; sleeping bag; tent; poncho, If I'd Had enough food put back to march home from the Virginia border; I'd certainly had enough food; and supplies to last me through a broke three day weekend. Yet I proceded merrily on my way; both before; and after. I never really saw it as a learning experience until I started coming here. Wonder why that is? Anyone? Love to see y'all's comments.