Railroad workers

 A group of Palestine railroad employees at a reunion lunch held at Ricky Naismith’s home. Naismith and his wife host at least one get-together for the group at their home annually.

Working together can develop a deep camaraderie between coworkers and has for many of the employees that have worked for Union Pacific Railroad in Palestine.

After working together 40 hours a week, some for four or five decades, many miss their work friends and enjoy seeing each other now that they have retired or moved on to another job.

About four years ago, Rickey Naismith and Wayne Stewart, former UP employees began meeting once a month to catch up, eat lunch and talk about their years at the railroad.

Overtime, other retired employees began to join them, averaging about 12 members a meeting.

“It’s turned into something that’s pretty neat,” Naismith said. “I look forward to it.”

The group now meets every other month at Harcat and Lou’s in Elkhart and once a year Naismith and his wife host the group at their home, providing the meal for the reunion.

Naismith worked for Union Pacific for 38 years, in various positions including the car shop, working day in and day out with many of those who come to the monthly meetings.

“They are like family,” Naismith said. “We have a lot of good memories. I worked with some really good people. You needed a refrigerator moved after work, and they’d come help you. We went hunting and fishing together, even had fishing tournaments. Lots of good camaraderie.”

A hot topic for the group has been the current situation with Union Pacific and the city of Palestine.

“We are keeping up with everything that’s happening and praying the best for the employees,” Naismith said.

Naismith wants all former employees to know they are welcome to join the group.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Naismith said. “We just don’t push it to where it’s overbearing or you’ve got to be there. Come if you can or catch us the next time.”

The next meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 16. Harcat & Lou’s Diner is located at 102 W Parker St. in Elkhart.

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