Topic: "Engine Uprisin'" (4)
Methodists are not traditionally heroic people, at least Frodo can't seem to zero in on a single self-proclaimed Methodist who has ever done anything which would merit Medal of Honor consideration. There was a Minister's daughter however who once volunteered to expand Frodo's horizons in ways that only a Minister's daughter could, but Frodo felt the offer might be more self-satisfying than courageous. His declination of her favors expanded his anticipation.
Although John Wesley is a widely-recognized name in Methodism, Frodo does not seem to recall any instance where he slew dragons in the name of Faith. The first names with whom Frodo became acquainted as notable, or cool, in Methodism, were General JEB Stuart and R. J. Reynolds. It is particularly interesting to note that both JEB Stuart and R. J. Reynolds were both kicked out of the "College of the Shire" (Frodo's alma mater) for the same reason; public drunkenness. Upon learning of this historical fact, Frodo did his absolute best to follow in the footsteps of greatness. Despite the concentrated efforts of questionable entrepreneurial manufacturers as well as predominant corporate entities, Frodo somehow avoided a forced retreat from this bastion of learning and values.
JEB Stuart's history is easily researched, and is better addressed in another forum. R.J. Reynolds, the founder of the tobacco empire, is another story, and this truism is the basis of the tears of laughter to follow.
R.J Reynolds never forgave the College of the Shire for kicking him out, so he swore revenge. Some years later, the corporate giant started buying and selling companies (which seems to be an activity which dominates the interests of corporate giants, of all types). R.J. purchased the Norfolk & Western Railway, among other companies. Perhaps it was merely coincidental, but the next thing that seemed to happen was the construction of a main line of the Norfolk & Western right through the middle of the campus at the College of the Shire. It remains there to this day, and the hours between sunset and sunrise seem to be the busiest for this merchant carrier.
Frodo recalls many hours where his silence was broken by the lonesome whistle of a freight train. Frodo developed a special affection for the songs of Hank Williams, and a loathing for the revenge enjoyed by R. J. Reynolds.
Our story occurred during the height of the Vietnam War. Frodo and his friends eventually noted that the Norfolk & Western was carrying Merchants of Death. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery pieces, and other weapons of war were on flat-beds, and they came through the College of the Shire in the middle of the night. When friends began to die, in a war in which democracy was on the wrong side, Frodo could not stand idly by, nor could Russell Frost.
Russell and Frodo, with the assistance of a few others, fashioned breechcloths, made headbands, and painted their faces. Changing the "green" light to "red" on a railroad track was not beyond the technical competence of any pre-med or engineering student. Together the band portrayed the last Indian raid in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Using rubber-tipped arrows, this gallant band rained terror from the skies upon the engineers, brakemen, and other employees of R.J. Reynolds who were transporting the weapons of war.
Not unlike the Red Men of yore, they knew that all they could do was delay the moments of destruction. The train pulled on after less than thirty minutes under fire. The employees of R.J. Reynolds voiced their displeasure with the "Commie Pinkos," and commerce drove them on to Fort Benning, and destinations beyond. Only then would people be injured, and die.
Frodo likes to think that R.J. Reynolds would have admired the spunk of Frodo and Russell. Frodo would have invited him to share a drink.
Russell Frost died from Cancer of the Thymus Gland. Frodo had to look it up, since he didn't know that he had such a gland, or that he might fall because of it. The Russell Frost Memorial Scholarship at the College of the Shire not only recognizes those who dream about a better world, but those who happen to have a little fun along the way.