Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

Friday, July 31, 2009

RB038 Set the Record Straight

Miss Anderson is the teacher at Beaver Creek Elementary School. Two of her students, Justin Alexander and Peter Kloss, who are not paying attention in class and may fail if their work doesn't improve. The boys' only interest is sports and creating plays for those sports. The boys' fathers were college athletes whose only interest is also sports. Justin's and Peter's dads petition the school board to have Miss Anderson fired. The men accuse Miss Anderson of being prejudiced against sports because she is physically handicapped. Then the fathers convince other parents that Miss Anderson is an unfit teacher. What can Bill do to help Miss Anderson defend herself and keep her job? What will Miss Anderson do in the face of all this public opposition?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How much does that choo choo cost?

I thought you might be interested in just how much a typical train with 100 to 130 cars might cost if you were considering purchasing one.

Let's start with the train's engine, or more correctly engines. It is likely that your train will need four engines, two pulling and two more pushing the cars. And those pusher engines require computers with software that controls and limits how hard those engines push to keep those engines from derailing the train. Your engines will cost roughly $1.65 million to over $2.0 million each depending on the extras in each. So engines will cost you a total of roughly $8 million.

Then there are those 100 or so cars you need. One box car will be $86,000 - $96,000. Coal cars are $72k to $82k a piece. Your typical tanker car is $80k. A standard grain car is $75k. Those piggy-back cars come in sets of three at a cost of $175k - $200k or in sets of five at a cost of $250k - $275K. That means you will have to spend about $9 million for your 130 cars.

That gives you a grand total of $17 million for your very own freight train.

Now if you feel that hauling passengers would be better and cheaper for you, consider this. Engines for commuter trains start at $2.5 million and go over $4 million. Passenger cars cost from $1.8 million to over $3.5 million each. You can see that it doesn't take too many engines and passenger cars to equal or top the price of a good sized freight train.

Maybe we are all better off letting the railroads purchase their own trains and we will simply take advantage of the goods and services these good folks provide.

Junction City Railroad Days

Junction City Railroad Days begin this Friday, July 31, at 4:00pm. There will be activities and games for young and old in the town square. The railroad will be exhibiting its newest and fastest engines at the rail yard on the north side of town. All sorts of classic trains, such steam engines, will be in Junction City courtesy of several train collectors from around the country. Also an array of various types of cars from coal and hopper cars to tankers to box cars to flat cars. And what would Railroad Days be without intermodal cars. Maybe you know intermodal by their more common name, piggy-back cars. Catch the latest piggy-back cars, containers (i.e. truck trailers) are stacked two high on well cars that are flat cars with short walls that give the cars extra rigidity and strength.
Railroad Days are sponsored by the railroad and Canyon City Truck Lines. Leonard Grant, truck line owner, and Spencer Neihoff, railroad manager, came up with the idea for Railroad Days ever since Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson convinced these two men to combine the efforts of both businesses to improve delivery service in all kinds of weather. By the way Ranger Bill will be the event host Friday.
Bus service will be provided for Railroad Days events around Junction City all weekend. Also most communities in the tri-county area have arranged bus trips to and from Railroad Days. Knotty Pine is no exception. There will be one bus to Railroad Days on Friday afternoon and two buses each day on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

RB037 The Shortage

Ranger accountant John Peterson has become distant and irritable. Then he disappears one evening. His wife asks Bill to find John and his problem. John is an honest, hard-working man. He does excellent work for the forest service and has his books audited annually. But John has a major problem. He has a shortage in the books of several thousand dollars and can't find the mistake anywhere. What can Bill and the boys do to get John out of this problem? Will Bill tell on John? See that figures really don't lie.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Sleeping Death" note

If you are like me, then you may not know much about the disease sleeping sickness. I thought that sleeping sickness was a disease only found in very hot, humid climates in places like Africa or lands close to the equator. I also thought that the tsetse fly was the only carrier of the illness.
Actually that is only partially true. Sleeping sickness (Its medical name is African trypanosomiosis.) is only found in Africa and is passed by the bite of the tsetse fly. A special form of the illness in animals is called animal African trypanosomiosis. Also several conditions that cause lethargy in man are referred to as sleeping sickness or medical fatigue.
But back in the 1910's and 1920's another form of sleeping sickness swept the entire world. It is an unusual form of encephalitis (a disease that attacks the brain) called encephalitis lethargica. This form of encephalitis spread quickly all over the world and lasted more than 10 years. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared and has not been seen in the world since. This sleeping sickness was also spread by mosquitoes just as in this week's story. There doesn't seem to be any fear of this form of sleeping sickness coming back. The disease may have had genes that quickly mutated helping it to survive and spread as it did. But the mutation process apparently eventually killed off encephalitis lethargica.
The writers of Ranger Bill worked hard to write stories that were in the news at that time or were historically correct. I think this is one of those historically based shows that we don't have much knowledge of today.

Geocities closing

Later this year Geocities will be closing up all but a small portion of its web pages including some of our pages there. We are in the process of moving everything we have on Geocities to Zoomshare. Very little will change in the move. We hope this will not inconvenience you. If you have any trouble locating any of our Ranger Bill information, please contact us at rangerbillclub@aol.com and we will get you the pages you are looking for or the information you need.

In Christ,

Ranger Dave

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - More 3C and WPA Revelations

Big Pine Information Ranger Rocky McGuire shared with the GAZETTE that CCC building efforts in and around Big Pine National Forest must be described as huge. The Civilian Conservation Corps team known as Camp Shady built numerous buildings during the Great Depression. Some of the construction included Ranger Headquarters, all of the fire towers in Big Pine, the Big Pine Gift Shop/General Store, as well as Big Pine's parking area, camping site, and camper park. As mentioned in previous articles, the 3Cs also planted thousands of pine trees, repaired erosion damage and fixed drainage.
Ranger McGuire was able to verify that a second CCC camp composed mostly of members of local Indian tribes worked on the northern regions of Big Pine. She surprised Ranger Gray Wolf with a plaque authorized by Ranger Bill Jefferson and the Forest Service. The plaque recognizes the work of Gray Wolf's Dakota tribe. Ranger Gray Wolf along with the rest of the Knotty Pine staff traveled to Gray Wolf's tribe to present the plaque and thank the tribe for their hard work in Big Pine.
WPA crews were also hard at work in the Shady River region during the Depression. WPA stands for the Work Progress Administration. These crews built the huge Mid-Mountain Dam which provides millions of watts of electrical power to much of the state. That power changed the face of the Shady Valley. Readily-available, inexpensive power allowed the region to grow and prosper. Knotty Pine grew from a small crossroads village with a general store to the community we all know and love today. Electrical power allowed 3C Camp Shady to build the Big Six Lodge and ski lift which is a major tourist attraction for Knotty Pine.
Ranger Bill would again like to remind readers the God does work good in the midst of hard times like the Great Depression.
This is the final article on the 3C Boys and Knotty Pine. Please e-mail us and let us know what you thought of the story and let us know if you'd like to see more stories like it.
Have a blessed day in Christ.

Friday, July 17, 2009

RB-036 Sleeping Death

Mosquitoes are spreading Sleeping Sickness rapidly around Central City. Local officials begin mosquito spraying immediately. But their efforts are not enough. District Chief Ranger Ralph Hodges helps with the equipment he has, but that isn't enough either. Hodges contacts the Knotty Pine's Northwest District Ranger Bill for more planes and trucks for spraying. Spraying is not coordinated or effective. Ralph asks Bill to try to fix all the problems. Then more trouble arises, a rancher Sy Boone won't let Bill's men and sprayers on his land. All the hard work will be for nothing if Bill can't get spraying organized and also get access to the rancher's lands.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

RB-035 Henry for Mayor

It's Youth Week at Knotty Pine High, and Henry has a "Thorny" problem - Thornton Newcastle, that is. Henry is running for Youth Week mayor against young Mr. Newcastle. Thornton is the son of a big businessman and used to getting his way. Thorny is worried that Henry will win the mayor's race because of Henry's popularity at school. Henry is on the swim team and has the best grades in math. Thornton steals Henry's math notes and accuses him of cheating. Now Henry may not only lose the race but also kicked off the swim team and flunk math. Bill can't go to Henry's aid or he will interfere with the Youth Week. Henry must stand up for himself. But what can he do to defend his good name?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Flanigan Box and 3C Boys

This is part two in the series about the 3C Boys and their connection to Big Pine National Forest.
In part one of this story, the GAZETTE reported that the locked box found at the Ranger Bill Jefferson residence belonged to the brother of Knotty Pine resident Maggie Murphy, John "Jack" Flanigan. Mrs. Murphy opened the box with a key belonging to her late brother. Inside the box were some letters from the Flanigan family to Jack during his time in Knotty Pine with the CCCs, The Civilian Conservation Corps, also Jack's diary and some photos of 3C Boys.
Ranger Bill commented that the story of Jack Flanigan and the 3C Boys found in Jack Flanigan's diary shows "God working all things together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).
Maggie told the GAZETTE that her family lived in Ohio in the town of The Falls in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Maggie's father Ian had a factory job in Cleveland. He used to take a trolley called the Dootle Bug to work every day. As the Depression deepened, Ian's company lost business and he was laid off. Maggie was just a baby at the time. The Flanigans had little to eat. The kids were getting sick from malnutrition. Thousands were out of work all across the country. Charities ran out of food and money to help the poor and unemployed. Newly elected President Roosevelt created the CCCs as one way to help folks.
Maggie's oldest brother Jack had some struggles of his own. He stopped going to church. He began to hang around with a bad gang. He told his family that he stopped trusting God. But then a ray of hope came to the Flanigans. Jack was old enough for the CCCs and signed up. He was accepted in the corps and left for a little unknown town near the Rockies called Knotty Pine. His family couldn't even find Knotty Pine on the map, but Jack went there anyway. Jack worked hard in Knotty Pine, but he was well fed and had warm clothed. He grew strong and healthy. And he told his family all about this lovely little farm town and the friends he made in the 3Cs. And each month the Flanigans got a $25 check from the government for Jack's work in the 3Cs.
Jack had two friends in the corp, Paul and Bruce. The CCC leaders made sure that any boy who wanted could go to church. Paul and Bruce went every week. They kept telling Jack about God's love in Jesus until the seeds they planted began to grow. Jack started to go to Knotty Pine Church from time to time. Then it was every week. Jack had found his faith once more.
Jack learned carpentry and cabinet making along with Paul and Bruce. They built the big table at Ranger Headquarters, also Bill's desk, Jack's box and one just like it for Maggie . They also built the cabinets at the CCC leaders' house, which is now the Jefferson residence. Jack was allowed to keep his box there in the attic for safe keeping.
Jack forgot his memories box in all the excitement and confusion when the Camp Shady was closed and everyone was sent home. Jack joined the Army during World War II. When he left for the service he gave little Maggie her own memories box and a necklace with the key to both boxes on the end of the chain. Jack died in the war. He never told Maggie where his box was.
The Flanigans had fallen in love with Knotty Pine during Jack's time there. They finally did find the Shady Mountains were located and moved there. Maggie's dad got a good job on the Johansen farm. Maggie eventually grew up and became Mrs. Maggie Murphy. Jack's box was eventually forgotten about until Henry Scott found it in the Jefferson attic.
In the next installment of this story, you will find out about another CCC camp at Big Pine Forest and other Depression era New Deal work at Knotty Pine.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Big Pine Origins Revealed

Boxes and a shovel found at Ranger Headquarters have helped reveal much of the history of Big Pine National Forest. At least one, and probably two or more Civilian Conservation Corps camps were organized in the Knotty Pine District. Camp 1, as it was officially known, was nicknamed Camp Shady.
Many of the forested areas in the Shady Valley suffered from overlogging and forest fires that burned hundreds of acres. Approximately three fourths of the region's trees had been lost, and erosion caused further damage. Nothing had been done to repair or replace those pines until the CCC camp was established at Knotty Pine.
The boys at Camp Shady planted thousands of trees, repaired erosion damage, and dug ditches and creeks to prevent erosion. The boys also built Ranger Headquarters, including its fireplace of rock from all over the Shady Valley.
Camp Shady began as a military style tent camp. As time went along, the boys were moved into some of the Knotty Pine warehouses that the boys converted into barracks. The boys were well fed and warmly clothed. The Ranger Bill Jefferson home was home to the commanders at Camp Shady.
The 3C Boys were paid a modest $30 per month. $25 of that was sent to each boy's family to help support the family during the Depression. $5 went directly to each boy for personal expenses. Knotty Pine was a tiny one-horse farm town struggling to survive during the Depression. The money spent by the 3C Boys and to run Camp Shady kept Knotty Pine from disappearing at that time.
The boys were paid more than just $30 per month. Many boys has little or no education. Many could not read or write. Few had any working skills. The boys at Camp Shady were taught to read and write and learned trades like plumbing, carpentry, drafting, surveying and more during the evening hours. Many of these classes were held at Ranger Headquarters and at the Jefferson home.
The volume of information on Big Pine and the 3C Boys was too large for one article. So the GAZETTE editors have decided to break this into a series of articles. The editors felt that this information was too important to skip any of the details. Look forward to information on the Maggie Murphy family connection to Big Pine. Also Information Ranger Rocky McGuire has found more details on the CCC in Knotty Pine and another Depression era program, the WPA.

Weekly Ranger Bill Updates

Ranger Dave sends out a weekly Ranger Bill update. The update gives information on the show for the week and for the next two episodes. The update also contains a little show trivia, news from Knotty Pine, as well as news about other His Kids broadcasts and Sailor Sam.
Email the club to receive your Ranger Bill weekly update at rangerbillclub@aol.com.

Friday, July 3, 2009

RB-034 Piggyback

Leonard Grant's Canyon City Truck Lines are struggling to survive. His trucks can't handle the combination of mountainous roads and heavy snow and ice during the winters in and around the Knotty Pine area. In addition to tough roads, Len's trucks must compete against the railroads who can get in any sort of weather. Len buys new trucks with special gears for icy weather. The trucks also have road sanding equipment installed. The trucks are even traveling in groups of three for safety.
The railroads are having troubles of their own. They can't provide door-to-door service that their customers get from Len's trucks. And they aren't making money on many of their contracts.
Len's men and the railroad workers are fighting and arguing constantly. Can Bill do something, anything, to bring peace and harmony to this situation? Can he find any way for both companies to keep business and do it profitably?