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Re: PC: Fw: [rrdiana] Re: Where do "artifacts" come from?

Mea culpa. Back in March 1976, I went out exploring at rail sites around
Boston. I saw an old NH baggage car stored alongside the roadway in
Readville. Inside were old NH paper items, switching papers from 1962-63,
oversize load and repair placards, etc. Although most of the items were
soaked in old motor oil, I bagged a bunch of them and brought them home. I
wound up throwing a lot of stuff out as it was a real fire hazard, but I'm
glad I kept what I kept. Someday, I'll sort through it all. On the same
day, I picked up a bunch of old tie date nails in Braintree.

Do I feel bad about doing this? No, not really. It is not the case that if
I didn't help myself to these things, someone else would have. However, if
I didn't seize the opportunity back then, very likely this stuff would have
been lost forever. This subtlely differentiates what I did from someone who
steals builders plates off of active rail equipment or walks off with other
things that they shouldn't be taking. I think that a great deal of items
obtained this way quickly find their way to sales tables at flea markets
and train meets.  None of the items I took are of extreme historic
significance, but they are interesting to look at.

As a kid in 1971-72, I used to take the destination placards off of
delivered box cars. I still have them all. I look back on those days with
good feelings and no guilt.


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