A Lehigh Valley RS-3
Arrived in the mail…
N scale and weathered,
It brought back a memory trail.

Of my college days
And of a certain friend…
Stubborn branchline trains
That were run until the end.

David Fairbanks was
The church organist I knew….
Introduced by the Youth Pastor
We found the other liked trains, too!

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western
Was Dvid’s forte’…
Plus the Lehigh Valley
Ran through Cortland (NY), by the way.

David, old as my Dad, or more
Was into D,L & W steam…
Which he photographed fron youth’
For me a pleasant dream.

He took pictures of “those diesels”
But a foamer he’d always be…
Which was perhaps an acquired taste
For such as young as me!

Still he shared his bounty
With a young diesel man like me…
Copies of his pictures
And of others he’d give gladly

He had an “O-27” layout
In his basement down the stairs…
After admiring and running it
We came up to sample fresh eclairs.

He was a tidy man who never married,
Taught piano on the side for change…
If he had a lesson scheduled
My visiting time rearranged.

Last time I was up his way
David Fairbanks was gone…
But thanks to a local society
His history will live on.

He’ll be playing the organ for his Lord
For perpetuity…
And I suspect when I get there
He’ll remember me.

–Jonathan Caswell