Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Happy retirement, James!

Last call for cunningly clever quotes and punny pontifications: James Sackey has announced his retirement as Depot Book Store Clerk!

James joined the Northwest Railway Museum staff in February 1997, shortly after retiring from the United States Navy. He has been the watchful warden of the Snoqualmie Depot and the careful clerk of the Depot Bookstore for more than 20 years, and he reports that it has been his longest gig, at least so far!

Mr. Sackey has been a valued supporter of the Museum, but for many he has been its face. Over the years, his good humor,  puns, literary prose, and general railroad banter have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors. He will be missed by many, but especially by Snoqualmie Depot regulars, Museum Volunteers, and Staff. And one staff member in particular - Phoebe Snow to be precise - offers a literary tribute:


FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

                        --ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.


PUNNIER than joke books, one-liners and games,
Close to our hearts, “Almost everything James”;
And charging along with his trademark mustache,
James took MasterCard, Visa, and sometimes took cash.
With James, jokes and puns—witty, inane—
Fly as thick as driving rain;
Yet never again, in the wink of an eye,
Will this bookstore clerk whistle by.

Here is a man who clambers and scrambles
All by himself to save bookstores from brambles;
Here is a tourist who stands and gazes
While James with his knowledge, and singing, amazes!
Good-humored banter, groans, and camaraderie
Are exiting sometimes sunny Snoqualmie;
Wishing you well, James; please know that you’ll never
From thought, from our hearts, be gone for ever!


Happy trails James Sackey!