The Traveler, opulence on wheels
Though her paint is a bit faded, for her age, the Traveler, formerly the private rail car of the president of the St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad is holding up well. She left active service in 1960 and has been here on Pumpkin Hill Road, south of Rison, Arkansas since. This story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. To see more pictures of the Traveler, click here, visit the Photo of the Week page and get in on the start of the story.
At the back of the car, there is an observation parlor with the door opening to the rear platform. See a picture of the parlor here. If you think you see water in the background of the picture above, you are correct. It’s a toss up as to whether is a big pond or a small lake, but it is a beautiful impoundment, brimming with large catfish, bass and hand-size bream. Those who wet a hook there are normally not disappointed according to Bob Abbott, the owner.
The mahogany main parlor at the front of the car has a writing desk, a large table with six chairs and very comfortable aisle seating. The windows are large. The carpet, though aged, is lush.
The hallway would not be a comfortable fit for the average NCAA Division I or NFL defensive tackle. I wear a 46 long suit and when I stood squarely in it, my shoulders scraped the sides of the door.
The parlor pictures above were shot with flash. The picture below was shot from further toward the front of the car and shows more of the mahogany cabinetry in the upper foreground. The color has a different cast brought about by using only available light.
Though the Traveler is the star of the show on Bob Abbott’s Pumpkin Hill Road place, it is not the only attraction. In 2007, Bob had a small chapel built on the banks of the lake/pond(?). (your guess is as good as mine). Since then it has become popular for weddings and other church related events. Bob, being who he is, does not charge for its use.
Signs, signs, Joe Webb’s signs …
As promised on the Corndancer Photo of the Week page and in last week’s Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind, I am showing another of Joe’s signs. On this one, the Buick folks tout their valve-in-head engine configuration. In the mid fifties, Buick added a variable pitch impeller in their automatic transmissions which supposedly gave you neck snapping power on the low end and more economy on the high end. Such cerebral appeals have long since given away to more visceral appeals in this day and time. The facts are now, proper cup holder configuration is higher on the pecking order of consumer concern and awareness than valve configuration. And so it goes.
Thanks for dropping by,
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more Tagged: | Bob Abbott, Business, chapel, Cotton Belt, Cotton Belt Railroad, cup holder, Executive Rail Car, Joe Dempsey, Joe Webb, mahogany main parlor, old buick sign, Parlour, Photograph, private rail car, Pumpkin Hill Road, Pumpkin Hill Road Rison AR, Rail, Railcar, Recreation, Rison Arkansas, Southwestern Railroad, St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad, The Traveler, Weekly Grist