Guest post by Frederick Manfred Simon.
March 7, 2017
Dawn begins to break into a new day as the sun pushes the darkness ahead of herself pressing the ever-shifting layers of Jovian-seeming clouds like curtains of the night aside finding the searching deltoid beam of a westing Eastern Washington Gateway empty glinting off the railhead on the more than 125-year-old right-of-way. Having dipped down from the gradually flattening 1.20% grade at Hanson five miles yonder with two units and an abbreviated file of PS2’s and ACF’s it now bears down on the barely-stirring 150-soul hamlet eponymous of early settler John Hartline (German, Anglo-Saxon for strong or bold). And though the crew has no work here today, Engineer Ted Curphey will signal their “just-passing-through” as he chimes the iconic Nathan-crisp two longs, one short, one long twice: once at Range Street just a stones through from the Assembly of God Chruch where the “light” is, still, always on and shortly thereafter at Main-Chelan Street where between, butted-tightly along the tracks, stand the sky-scrapping elevators of grain.