Nick Banchich - railroad story
He Rides By BARHY WAftREIV PC Register Bureau POUT CUNTON - According to part • time station agent Nick Banchich "railroading is an extinct profession." So Banchich, who wishes it weren't, collects odds and ends of his favorite era "for posterity posterity if nothing else." HE CAN also entertain by the hour with yams of the good old days. Like the time he was tower man at the jackknife bridge just west of here (his first job on the railroad) when he used a locomotive to push the draw bridge down. "Just eased the Iron Sally up on the bridge; until the draw section dropped level with the other side. The controls in the tower were out of order." THEN THERE were the close calls — like when a hoi box flew off a box car, went between between his legs, and knocked a hole into the wall of the depot behind him. "All part of a day's risk." HISTORIAN Banchich says Lore RAILROADING is still very much alive for Nick Banchich, Port Clinton, part-time station agent, if only through his hobby. (Register Photo—Barry Warren) School Vocation Day Friday For 1,200 In Huron County NORWALK - Plans have been completed for the annual vocation vocation day program this Friday for more than 1,200 Huron County high school students, il was reported reported by County Superintendent of Schools Ralph R. Brown. Juniors and seniors from throughout the county will assemble assemble at 9:30 a.m. at the New London London High School, sophomores at the South Cenfral High School, freshmen of New London and Western Reserve at the Western Reserve'auditorium at Wakeman, wlh Monroeville freshmen hosting first-year high school students from South Central. Speakers Due Following an address of welcome welcome by Brown and an address by Tennyson Guyer, Cooper Tire and Rubber Co., public relations director, on the topic, "What Is Your Vision of TomoiTow?" juniors juniors arid^ seniors will have the rest of the day to attend five periods of counseling by representatives representatives of the armed forces, business, industry, professions, vocational vocational schools, colleges and universities. universities. Each junior or senior, according according to Brown, will be able to sit in on five to six counseling (Continued on 2B) / Welcome Back JACKIE... "MISS AMERICA 1963 ri the Port Clinton Railroad (first railroad in Ottawa County) built the Bay Railroad Bridge on $381 actual cash with a pledge amount of $10,000. Then the Northern .Junction Railroad absorbed tlie PGR and itself was taken over by the Lakeshore and Michigan Southern Southern Railroad. "The New York Central came after that." But reciting his(oi7 is "just recreation." AS AGENT here ("I've never worked; railroading has always been a hobby") Bancnich says his real interest is collecting old photographs and antiques. He believes he may have the . biggest private collection of railroad railroad lore in existence. . The collection items include an engineer's chair, a headlight off a Culver and Port Clinton - Railroad engine, and timetables dating back to 1840. THERE'S PLENTY more in the Banchich collection presently presently stored in three buildings (one building the old freight house on , Lincoln and State which he bought at an auction for $15 and which he hopes to make over into a museum) lamps and lanterns, semaphore signalSi whistles off locomotives, and telegraph sounders abound. ,Included are his own hardwood hardwood desk where he sat when he was a station maister. with a payroll of 17 employes just 10 years ago. BANCHICH started railroading railroading on tlie rails—a 17-year-old hobo crisscrossing America "just for the experience." "There's a difference between a hobo and a bum," Banchich says. "A hobo works for his living and a bum asks to be given one." Banchich says that there aren't too many hobos around anymore. HE RAILROADED for a while in India during World War II. "I was a VOCO for five years there. Decoded that means a verbal aid of the commanding officer or absolutely nothing." Banchich's role in India was' driving locomotives and instructing instructing the Indians to drive locomotives locomotives for the U. S. Army.