The Great Train Robbery

by Perry Wells

edited by Zane Wells

Sometime in the 30’s, my grandfather and some of his first cousins decided to rob a mail train. It was during the Great Depression and times were hard, but for the life of me I cannot figure out why they wanted to rob a mail train. I would have chosen a payroll train, or perhaps a bank, or even a Brinks truck, but certainly not a mail train.

Being that none of them had any experience at robbing a train (mail train or any other kind), they planned to go up on the mountain overlooking our small settlement and practice their first robbery.

Among their supplies were, or should I say all of their supplies were; a Model T Ford, a tote sack full of dynamite, and a gallon of white lighting. It was a good half hour trip from the sawmill where our would-be robbers worked to the mountain top, so the whiskey was the first supply to be put to use.

My grandfather, being the ringleader of our would be bandit gang, assigned jobs to the other members. Dynamite man, fuse man, look out man, and getaway car driver. Pity the poor getaway car driver.

Now the only thing on the mountain that resembled a mail train was a huge boulder. With the whiskey having full control of the situation, enter dynamite. The dynamite was placed under one corner of the boulder, being intended to simulate a boxcar, and a four inch fuse was lit.

With the whiskey having effect on all the member’s abilities to run, the dynamite exploded the simulated boxcar boulder into enough rocks and dust to fill a literal boxcar. When the smoke cleared and the bandit gang could see and hear, the poor getaway car driver had a two ton rock riding shotgun with him.

With this failed practice robbery run, our gang’s attempt to rob a mail train was effectively ended. Especially when their wives found out.

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