This photo was taken in the front yard of my great-grandfather's house on Southside in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, in May 1951. The men in the picture are 'members' of "The Old Timers Club", a group of retired railroad men who once worked together on the Alabama Great Southern Railroad. Standing at the far right is my great-grandfather, Harry C. Flemming (1878-1955).
Harry worked on the AGS railroad for his entire career, serving as trainmaster, master mechanic and assistant superintendent. For the majority of his career he was the Engineer on the steam engine #6690. Every morning he would take control of the train from the Birmingham depot to the depot at Meridian, Mississippi. He stayed here and the train continued on to New Orleans with a different engineer. The next day the train would come back from New Orleans, stop in Meridian where Harry would board and take control of the locomotive back to Birmingham. This was his routine six days a week, for 42 years, until he retired in 1941.
3rd Annual Convention of the Old Timers Club
This letter was mailed out to 14 of the 16 members of the Club, from the club's Secretary. It is dated April 14, 1951. A note below the secretary's name is meant for Harry - who they lovingly referred to as Monahan.
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TO: Reid, Frazer, Madison, Sheets, Waldrop, Roberts, King, Riley, McCarty, Featherstone, Butler, Hussey, McAlister, Stowe.
NOTICE: The 3rd Annual Convention of the Old Timers Club will take place on Thursday, May 10, 1951.
PLACE: Monahan's Castle, 1402 South 17th Street, Birmingham, Alabama.
TIME: 11:30 A.M., to 2:00 P.M., or later.
SPONSOR: Mrs. H. C. Flemming (my great-grandmother)
You are expected; fine food and plenty of it; choice of drinks, good fellowship and lots of fun.Kindly state on the enclosed postal card if we can depend on your presence and mail it promptly. Mrs. Flemming must know for how many to provide.
That is important!
J. C. de Holl, Secretary
to Monahan, who can't write (never could)