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Christmas Day 1943 In North Platte, Nebraska

Robert L. Hinshaw Avatar Robert L. Hinshaw - LIFETIME Premium Member Robert L. Hinshaw - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Christmas Day 1943 In North Platte, Nebraska which was written by poet Robert L. Hinshaw. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Christmas Day 1943 In North Platte, Nebraska

The Union Pacific steamer billowed clouds of smoke as down the rails it raced!
Young soldiers aboard the crowded train contemplated the dire fates they faced.
Melancholy thoughts of hearth and home this Christmas Day were hard to bear.
The mournful wail of the engine's whistle added to their loneliness and despair.

The troop train provided very little conveniences for the miserable men.
No showers, a potbellied stove for heat and a tasteless meal now and then.
Little sleep was had since there were no berths or fancy Pullman cars.
Even a nap in their seats was fitful due to the coaches rocking jars!

Ah, but there was good news ahead for these young men on the way to war!
The sergeant announced, "We're stoppin' at North Platte, Nebraska! Ain't very far!
The kind ladies of North Platte is waitin' to greet youse on this Christmas Day!
Now, watch yer language, comb yer hair and shine yer shoes wid'out delay!"

The ladies of North Platte met every train passing through since the war began!
From the bounty of their farms they provided food for each and every man!
Ladies from miles about brought fried chicken, candy, apple pies and cakes,
Even popcorn balls with addresses of girls wrapped therein, for heaven's sakes!

Each train stopped for twenty minutes or so to take on more water and coal,
But those precious moments lifted the morale of the men which was the ladies goal!
They met as many as thirty-two trains a day serving nearly six million guys!
Decades later those men, now old vets, recall North Platte with teary eyes!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(c) All Rights Reserved

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  1. Date: 9/3/2013 2:34:00 PM
    I'd never heard of this until now... A great bunch of people they must of been! A lovely remembrance to relate here...

  1. Date: 8/22/2013 10:56:00 AM
    What a heart-warming story this is.It reminds me, of my grandson entering the Navy, he was sent as a new recruit to Norfolk Va in December..didn't know a soul, was homesick and rather scared, so wet behind the ears He went for a walk Christmas eve day while off duty- and a family on their way to church, complete strangers..invited him to their house for the eve, and back again for Christmas day dinner.I don't know who those people were, but have been forever grateful!We send them our prayers.

  1. Date: 8/16/2013 8:46:00 AM
    I got a sample of the book on my ereader..I will see if I want to order the book to read..Sara

  1. Date: 8/15/2013 8:58:00 PM
    Bob, Thank you for sharing this with us here at the soup. it is very heart felt... always Linda

  1. Date: 8/15/2013 11:37:00 AM
    Great work describing those ladies who did their part for the men who served our country...Enjoyed reading this one today..Thanks for your visit to my work..I have thought about you and wonder how you and Vera are doing...Sara

  1. Date: 8/13/2013 7:57:00 PM
    How painful it would have been for the men, to leave those ladies, . Great write!!

  1. Date: 8/13/2013 3:57:00 PM
    what a wonderful story and how well you've told it! i was able to picture those soldiers so vividly and feel their short-lived joy with the ladies. great poem, bob!