The railroad in Hazard was once a gathering place up and down the river for friends to meet at train time. Nobody was going any place, it was just something to do or a place to go, they wanted to see if any strangers got off the train at that point. Believe me if he wasn’t known, they usually found out his business before he got to the boarding house. Today we call them hotels and motels. I can recall when we had a passenger train leaving Hazard that had a chair car, a private room if you wanted it, plus a Pullman car with upper and lower berths. I have had the privilege of using them all. In those days a good many drummers used the train. Today they are called salesmen, or representatives of their firms. After reaching Hazard they would hire a horse and buggy to haul their samples to various stores in the area, which some times I am told would take them a week to call on so few merchants.
Times have changed a lot since those days. I have heard a lot of comments that if the Railroad had a good passenger train out of here it would be used. Maybe so. I don’t know. Since the day of the automobiles, our highways have been so crowded, and it is possible that a good train could offer better transportation. At least it might be safer.
Speaking of the changing times, I have heard the Railroad blasted from here to yonder because they went to using oil for fuel instead of coal. I will admit they don’t sound just right with this type of fuel being used. I must say look and listen before you make a crossing over any railroad tracks anymore. These darn diesels will slip upon you without any puffing of steam and etc.
We can’t argue one clause without the other, Railroads went to oil, household users changed from oil to electricity. Now you can flip a switch and you have lights. I can recall carrying a coal oil lamp to bed, always being cautioned, “don’t drop or break the globe.” Or you could even go farther back when pine knots were used for lights.
Around the cycle goes and where it will stop I am sure no one knows. Yes folks, the times have changed so often in such a short span of time. I often wonder if we really appreciate what we have today. 1961