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Thom Ross
Artist: Thom Ross, Title: Joe Baldwin's Light - click for larger image
Joe Baldwin's Light
40 x 30 Inches  Acrylic on Canvas   Sold
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"Joe Baldwin's Light" One rainy night in 1867, railroad conductor, Joe Baldwin, was sleeping in the caboose of a traveling train moving through North Carolina. As they came to Maco Station, Joe realized that the caboose he was in had become separated from the rest of the train. He also knew that a second train was right behind them and it was now bearing down on the unseen caboose. As this second train fly into view, Joe grabbed a lantern and, standing at the back of the caboose, began to swing it wildly back and forth trying to alert the onrushing train. It was all for naught and the second train slammed into the caboose. Joe's lantern sailed off into the sky like a meteor, landing at a distance from the wreck site where it sputtered back to life. Joe Baldwin, sadly, was killed. His body was found, but his head had been torn off. The headless body was buried, but soon after, a strange light began to appear along the same length of track that had witnessed this sad accident. The rumor started that it was Joe Baldwin, come back to look for his missing head. But, local gossip aside, the light actually existed and for years people would come out and view it, though no one could explain it. At first it was thought that maybe it was reflections from cars traveling down a nearby highway, but when traffic was stopped, the light still appeared. Eventually the railroad had to establish a separate signal light at the Maco Station. This consisted of a man holding two lanterns, one red and one green, and thus any oncoming train would not be confused by Joe Baldwin's mysterious light. President Grover Cleveland, traveling through the Maco area, even asked about these two lanterns signals, and he was told the strange story of Joe Baldwin and his light. In 1977 the old train tracks were torn up and the light vanished.
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