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When the Mallet Hit The Goat
By Fred Boland, Machinist 1928-1980
During the early 1950’s my home was on San Bruno Ave, on the hill above the Southern Pacific’s Bayshore yards. Early one morning, about 3:30 AM, I was awakened by an unearthly scream coming from the vicinity of Bayshore tower. It started like a screamed “ooh” and changed immediately to a steady “ow-w-w”. Looking out the window I could see several lanterns scurrying around a big sixteen drivered engine with a large rectangular tender, and a switch engine on an adjacent track with some cars. I put on clothes and rushed downstairs and started my auto out of the garage. By this time the whole valley and hillside were awake. My next door neighbor, cross because he was losing sleep, asked what that blankety-blank noise was. “Oh”, I replied, shutting the garage door, “a malley hit a goat. I am going down to get the details”. Never saw such a surprised look.
[editor's note: The incident actually must have taken place in mid-1948, assuming that Fred's recollection of the switch engine's number is correct. According to SP records, loco 1176 was retired in August, 1948 and scrapped at Bayshore a couple of months later.]