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Just a fortnight before Christmas, 1871, a young man, twenty-four years of age, returned home to his dinner about eight o'clock in the evening. He was married, and with him and his wife lived his wife's sister. At that somewhat late hour he walked in among the two young women, and another much older woman who was preparing the table for dinner. The wife and the wife's sister each had a child in her lap, the elder having seen some fifteen months of its existence, and the younger three months. "He has been out since seven, and I don't think he's had a mouthful," the wife had just said. "Oh, Harry, you must be half starved," she exclaimed, jumping up to greet him, and throwing her arm round his bare neck.
Learn about Gail F. Meintzer's philosophies from lessons learned the hard way, as he took the long road less traveled on the iron highway.
Travel with Gail F. Meintzer as he journeys with the railroad system from Deerfield, Illinois to Milwaukee, Wisconsin across the plains to Seattle, Washington before he heads to Des Moines, Minneapolis, and the Windy City. Then one more destination, as he finally settles in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
As a clerk-typist, he made a name for himself in the Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, placing second in the Oklahoma City Times Bowling tournament, and then leading his regiments' bowling team in winning the Fort Sill Bowling Championship. Drafted in 1944 into the U.S. Army during World War II, he was one of the lucky ones and didn't see battle.
In 1947, he married the love of his life, Neva, and they had five children together. To care for his family, Gail F. Meintzer worked for the railroad for 42 years, retiring as Director, Intermodal Sales for the Milwaukee Road in 1985.
His adventures weren't over as he and his wife traveled to visit their children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. A U.S. Army Veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Gail F. Meintzer shares his story as a die-hard railroader for the first time in Detours: A Memoir of a Railroad Man.
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