After my wife passed away in 2007, my daughter urged me to move from California to Battle Ground to be near her and my grandkids and great-grandkids. I had a house built in Battle Ground Village and moved there in November of 2008.
Shortly after, my daughter invited me to join a family outing on one of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Christmas Tree trains. I’m a lifelong train buff and model railroader, so of course I said yes. After the enjoyable ride I spoke with some members of the train group and asked if they were looking for volunteers — and they said “yes!”
The next Monday, I attended their monthly meeting and submitted my application, and I have been a volunteer ever since. I explained to them that because of my age, I would be unable to do any hard physical work, so they suggested that I be a docent. During that winter season, I got some local history books published by The Columbian and at the library, and studied the history of the region and the railroad — the requirements for being a good docent.
I chose to work in one of the open but roofed-over cars, which they called the “circus” car. I never found out why they first called it that, but since I have worked it for five years, they now tell people that it’s because a clown works in it.
One day, we were loading passengers at Yacolt and two women, one dark-haired and one blond, came into my car with two kids, a boy and a girl, both about 8 years old. The kids were blond and looked very much alike. I assumed they were twins and the blond woman was their mother. I asked her if they were twins and she replied, “No, they were born seven hours apart.”
I thought to myself, doesn’t that still make them twins?
I went about my duties and when we made our normal stop at Moulton station, most of the passengers got off to take the short trail to see Yacolt falls, including the women and the kids. When they got back on, there were two men with them and — you guessed it — the husbands, who had been riding in the caboose, were identical twins. The kids were cousins.
So part of the mystery was solved, but — seven hours apart? What are the chances of that happening?
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