The Legend of "The Safe"

The Legend of "The Safe"
Anton Anday

It was the seventeenth day of July in the year of our Lord 1998. In a place called Plover, Wisconsin. A large group of persons gathered together for purposes of recreating life as it existed in the years from 1780 to 1840

These good people came in good faith to trade with the flatlanders and to educate them concerning their heritage. The Plover Portage Rendezvous was visited by approximately seventeen hundred people from all walks of life. One of these pilgrims happened to have knowledge of history concerning RR depots of the past. Upon visiting the restored Bancroft Depot (1898), he took particular interest in the artifacts of the waiting room. From here he proceeded to the dispatchers station within the depot. Upon careful examination of the historical memorabilia located here, he demanded to know as the where about was the "safe"? Since, according to him, no depot existed without one.

Upon hearing the demanding request, my gracious Lord Tim, immediately conjured up a new project which was to be carried out forthwith without discussion or debate. His Lordship recalled, in the recesses of his memory, that such item did exist in the archives located in the basement of the museum. According to his Lordship, this beast of an item weighed approximately five hundred pounds and was carried to its present location by four persons down the steps into the archive. Upon examining the artifact in question, we humble servants came to the conclusion that those four alleged humans must have had genetic contact to previously unknown superhumans and/or gorillas. However, since his Lordship decreed this immediate project, based on the logic that a lot of muscle was available for this purpose, immediate implementation commenced.

A large two-inch rope, approximately a hundred feet long was secured, wrapped, and tied around "The Safe". Two, 2” x 6” full dimensional planks were obtained and laid on the steps to create a ramp for the extrication of "The Safe" from this pit of hell. His Lordship immediately called upon the aid of his two trusted lieutenants for organizational purposes and detailed planning. They came without question wearing their maroon T-shirts emblazon with the yellow crest of the Society. It looked like a platoon ready to go to war. A rail bar was called for, the rope shortened and attached to the frame of the Chevy S-10, a modern contraption that some people call a toy, others refer to it as truck. The plan called for lifting "The Safe" with a rail bar using the steps as a fulcrum to guide the item on the makeshift ramp. Every time this was implemented the “truck" would move forward tightening the rope and making the prying activity somewhat lighter. Two communicators were used for relaying signals. Stop! Go! Anton deposited his rotund, well planned for and maintained mid section, behind the wheel since it was his truck. Everything looked good on paper and it should not have been a major project but then reality set in.

The truck was not on a level ground. It was setting in a whole in front of the door. Furthermore it was a sandpit and there was no weight at the back end of the truck. The operation commenced with a lot of hollering. The wheels spun freely and smoke billowed from the engine compartment. It was not a pretty sight. By now we attracted quiet a audience from the campers. A number of them showed up looking over the situation. Few of them got into the spirit of the thing. After a number of advises some jumped in the back of the truck, others put pressure on the rope and slowly "The Safe" emerged trough the narrow opening of the door. One more jerk and it was out side. Everyone jumped clear, while loudly instructing the driver, "DON'T STOP". The truck eased forward, picking up speed while the item in question took a huge bounce and merrily dug a furrow in the lawn as it was dragged in front of the depot. The mission was half accomplished!

The question was how to elevate this artifact approximately two and a half feet to the platform. Since most of these persons involved in the activity often think two elaborately, they recalled the famous axiom of Archimedes - “Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world”. It was decided that wood blocks will be used under the wheels tipping "The Safe” from side to side until the appropriate height was reached, then role the artifact unto the platform. At the third height the structure collapsed sending reenactors in loincloths with bare feet scampering out of the way. All recorded for posterity by "Duke" with his famous camera. Enough is enough, we rolled "The Safe" to the edge of the platform. Two people hung on to the top while three people lifted the bottom. After a lot grunting this exercise was successful without anyone having to go the hospital for emergency hernia operation.

It now laid on its back on the platform. The Buckskinners now really got into it. With a rope tied to the top and the rail bar wedged on the bottom with a mighty pull "The Safe" came upright onto its wheels. Two planks were put in the doorway and it merrily rolled into the Depot over a three-inch incline. Two people could easily maneuver her now. Into the dispatcher’s room it went. It was positioned in its place of honor, wiped clean and everyone stood around sweating, grunting, shaking their heads for it was a beastly hot day. Everyone asked each other if they were OK? Finally someone proposed that we open it up to see what is inside of this thing, whereupon our Gracious Lord informed us that at one time he had the combination for "The Safe" but that he misplaced it and has long ago forgot the sequence of numbers. The crowd departed silently, thinking under their breath unmentionable, hurtful things that they hoped would inflict his Lordship. Everyone returned to their campsite to sit and enjoy some refreshments and another legend was born.      

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