Encountered a pleasant old gentleman in the middle of the aisle at our local general store. "Nice cane," he said. "My dad made one much like that. Did you make yours?"
"It's a grapevine," I replied. "Didn't have to do much but cut it and sand it."
"Dad was a section hand on the railroad forty-two years. I worked with him several years."
(One never knows where these random encounters are going to lead.)
"I had an uncle who was a section foreman on the Santa Fe for 39 years."
"Oh. Where was that?"
"Colorado. Where did you work?"
"Here, on the north-south line. Things sure have changed; everything used to be done by hand, even filling signal lamps with kerosene. There was a cold job in the wintertime! Say, didn't you used to be a teacher?"
"Yeah, my kids went to school to you."
" Tammy O and Scott O. Everyone called him Porky. Still do. He was born on Groundhog Day, so his grandpa called him Porky and it stuck."
"I always wondered how he got that nickname," I said.
Followed the questions about how his kids were doing now, did he have grandchildren (6, and 4 greats) and so on. Fun way to spend a few minutes on a snowy morning.