Boy tries to derail trains.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 May 1938.

In the 1940 census of Fork township, Wayne County, N.C.: at Eastern North Carolina Insane Asylum, Negro, James Edward Gerald, 9. [He was not the youngest inmate. Mixed among the hundreds housed at the hospital were children as young as 5.]


  1. must have been in retrospect a right of passage as i was born 12 years after this event, but i was trained by the older kids in MY neighborhood in proximty to the ACL tracks how to hop a freight as well as uncupple the cars. it was considered at the time an exciting spectacle to witness from the vantage point of a pre-teen. hopped MY first freight at age 10 at the end of gay street right up from MY aunt nannie popes` house. ME, MY Cousin Ghost, Lil’ Wee, Dukey, James Boy and Pee Wee. 6 years later all of us from manchester , robinson and the projects hopped the freight going and coming from work at imperial tobacco factory.

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