Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sharing Memories - RBS Express (62-63)

Sharing Memories - RBS Express (62-63)

On the last Those Places Thursday I shared so photos of my three temporary duty assignments (TDY) to the RBS Express in Nevada, Montana and Kansas. It started with the sun rising over the RBS Express parked in Hysham, Nevada.

This photo is especially meaningful because these experiences are the only time in my life, I think, that I ever worked a steady 'night shift' for any length of time. I was on from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., as I recall, for weeks at a time. It is a different work environment - and I am thankful for the experience. When I later studied Service Encounters as my specialty within Services Management in my doctoral program, being able to recall the 'feelings' of being a worker during those hours really helped me to be able to have a least some feel for a retail worker at a 24 hour business, such as a convenience store. Or, a heath care worker in a hospital, for another examples. It really is a 'different world,' I remember going into the dining car, just coming off my working shift, eating breakfast, then, in a hour or so, going to bed for my 'night of sleep' - getting up in the early to mid-afternoon. The rest of the day and into the evening was free time… back to work at 10 p.m.

Somehow, on some of those afternoons, I became acquainted with a local mail carrier and some local ranchers. I do not recall the exact circumstances, but, I enjoyed riding around the mountainous regions near the train. I'm sure this was on the Montana TDY. There are some vivid images in my memory, but no connecting details. Fascinating.

Even MANY years later, just thinking about that 'night shift' work brings back 'physical' responses in my body. The memories did when I was in my doctoral studies, they do now. Strange how that happens. As a reader, do you have memories of working in the middle of the night in any of your work? Similar, or different memories and responses?

I want to include one more story here, unrelated, except in my mind, they go together. Our oldest daughter, Annette, would have been three in Aug of 1963, just before we moved from Winslow to St. George, Utah. The memory (and this is my story, so I'll tell it my way, regardless of the "truth'' aspect of anything I may say) I have is of Annette, 3, up on a picnic bench at a Winslow-based airman party, doing "The Twist." Chubby Checker first hit #1 with "The Twist" with a single in 1960. As the related dance, "The Twist" took hold, his musical version hit number 1 again, in 1962.

The final memory of this 'set' will be that Nancy was pregnant with Allison as we pulled up stakes in Winslow and moved the family, and the 'Air Force Detachment base,' to St. George, Utah, in the fall of 1963… the story for next week.

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Thanks for the great stories. I still love doing the Twist!

  2. I had hoped to find a photo of you in the brown dress with the crenilin??? that you danced in,... perhaps one day it will show up, again... ;-)

  3. I worked the night shift for5 years at U of Iowa Hospitals. I liked the freedom and lack of hierarchy on that shift. I worked in Pediatrics in a unit where we could keep the lights on and that helped. I was able to sleep during the day while Mike worked. My time of night shifts ended after Gretchen was born. For the first few months of her life I worked, slept, and breastfed her. Mike asked me to get a day job as he felt like a single parent. Even though I felt out of sync working nights, it took my body a long time to adjust working the day shift.

  4. Becki,
    That experience sounds familiar, in many ways. Thanks for sharing your comments. Neat! ;-)