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Grandfather was T&P employee

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:41 am
by johnfcovin
My grandfather, Bedford (Ben) Forrest Covin, retired as an employee of the T&P RR. He lived in Longview early in his time with T&P and lived the majority of the remainder of his life in Mineola.

When I would stay with my grandparents, the highlight was always getting up in the middle of the night to meet his train, usually when he was returning from 'Texarkana Turn.' That is the phrase he used to describe his trip.

My grandmother and I would stop at a crossing in downtown Mineola until the train passed so I could watch for him and wave to him in the caboose. We would then go to the T&P yard west of Mineola.

My father and uncle were both serving during WWII and were away from home. My grandfather was extremely proud of both of them. At the time he was a conductor on passenger trains. But he was transferred to freight trains for harassing young men passengers that were not serving in the military. He was not a gentle or soft-spoken man, but was mostly gruff and spoke his mind. That was the end of his passenger service days until the time of his retirement.

Being obsessed with collecting anything T&P, I regret that I did not pay more attention in my youth while he was a proud employee.

I have collected almost every O gauge locomotive and rolling stock displaying the T&P flag. I have also spent an incredible amount of money on ebay collecting anything associated with T&P over the last 10 years.

Thank you for this web site.

John F. Covin

RE: Grandfather was T&P employee

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:41 am
by darrelbsmith
Mr Coven, I am doing a lot of research on the Miniola Depot, and yard, and have some photos, If you have any, i would love to see them. Darrel Smith ([email protected])

Re: Grandfather was T&P employee

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:43 am
by johnfcovin
Hi Darrel, I am sorry to say that I do not have any photos of the Mineola depot in my collection. Everything I have collected has been from eBay auctions.

I could use your help perhaps. I have tried to contact officials in Mineola about the T&P Museum that is housed in the old depot there but without success. I would like to donate some of my collection of O Guage models of the T&P to the Museum if they could be displayed in honor of my Grandfather.

In your research, did you come across anyone associated with the Museum there that might be in a position to make a decision to accept donations that could be displayed? I also have collected many editions of the 'Topics' company magazine as well as T&P Annual reports that I think would make an excellent addition to the Museum. You can email me, if you prefer to communicate outside of this forum, at johnfcovin'at' I look forward to hearing from you.