Here is the big yard engine 7 in Johnson City in 1909. Mr. Crumley had this shot captioned "Conductor Crumley, Engineer John Meredith, Brakemen F. S. Salyer, Carson Salyer." John Meredith was a notable character on the narrow gauge. He was hot-tempered and fearless to the point of doing crazy things. He signaled with his whistle for the brakemen to apply the handbrakes coming down the steep hill in Doe River Gorge once. He looked back to see Brakeman Mack Winters thumb his nose at him from the top of a boxcar and flew into a rage. He put the air brake valve in full release after seeing Winters do that, and the train went into a free fall down the steep hill, finally stopping on the Hampton Bridge. He could have wrecked the whole train by doing that, but he was just crazy. He carried a pistol in his toolbox every day. He hanged himself in a garage on Maple Street in Johnson City sometime in the late 1930's.
From the Mike Hardin Collection, below is John Meridith's paycheck from 1924. Mr. Crumley had probably thirty of these checks in the old scrapbooks and they all got gone. We are sure lucky to have Mike to share this one with us. Not bad pay for a wild man!