One of my railroad friends was recently out in California and sent me this photo of a real movie star. Sierra Railroad #3 has been the star of a lot of movies & TV series alike. Perhaps one of the most popular ones was Petticoat Junction, a TV series from the early 60s through to the end of the decade.
My friend reported that the shop where #3 called home was also storage area for her may costumes. It was full of smokestacks, lights, domes and even a wooden fuel load to allow her to quickly change into whatever type of loco that was needed for her next movie/TV show assignment.
What struck me as a bit funny about this was that when we were discussing Petticoat Junction amongst ourselves, it dawned on me that one of our informal group's members was too young to have seen ANY of the episodes. It's funny how age creeps up on you like that. Well, Petticoat Junction was set in the South between the mythical towns of Pixlie & Hooterville. The railroad ran past a hotel called the Shady Rest where Kate, her three daughters & Uncle Joe lived. The Hooterville Cannonball was hardly that; it was a train that ran on the whim of its crew connecting those three stops to the outside world.
Of course, there had to be a villian. That was Mr. Bedlow, Mr. Homer Bedlow, a member of the senior management team of the railroad conglonerate that owned the railroad line. He was always trying to come up with ways to shut down the line but was continually thwarted by Kate & ner friends.
The show was on TV in a time where funny things were indeed funny, the jokes were most certainly family oriented and morals & ethics were never questioned. The Cannonball made her last run in 1970 but Hooterville & Pixlie lived on as a spin-off show, Green Acres, lasted a few years longer.
If you are curious about Petticoat Junction, you might want to take a look at this portion of one of the episodes posted on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV1oW9RV3jY There's even a few good shots of the Cannonball rolling by. No, there's nothing wrong with your monitor; the show's early years were done in black & white!
Yes, those were the days...