From Pine View Farm

This Reminds Me of the Railroad 3

I worked for the railroad for 24 years. From time to time, an employee would pass away and two wives and families would turn up–one at each end of his run.

After the surprise died away, since neither family knew of the other, great battles would ensue over the death benefit and railroad retirement survivor benefits.

Seeing this story took me back to those days:

Two ‘wives’ fight over sergeant’s remains

November 23, 2005

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. –The final resting place for a retired sergeant may be determined by a judge as two women battle over which was his wife at the time of his death.

John E. “Sarge” Burrell died in July. His body has been stored at Wiseman Mortuary in Fayetteville since then, while the women fight over whether to bury him in a veterans cemetery in Spring Lake or in Atlanta.

Whenever this happened in my previous gig, I would always have the same reaction: “One spouse is enough trouble. Why would anyone want two?”



  1. Opie

    November 26, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    I know a guy who pulled a stunt like that, although not by working for the railroad. Call me judgmental, but I kinda lost respect for him when I found out what was going on. At least the far-fringe Mormons out west who live in little desert towns with two or three wives under the same roof aren’t lying or keeping any secrets.

  2. Frank

    November 26, 2005 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t think it’s judgmental to have one’s own opinions of conduct, as long as one doesn’t posture in public about them.

  3. Opie

    November 26, 2005 at 11:46 pm

    Heck, I know it’s out of style, but I am not totally against public posturing. Stigma has at times saved some people from getting hurt, and even saved some people from hurting themselves. No, I have not publicly decried his behavior, and in fact have not even expressed my disapproval privately. But I will maintain that if he had been publicly shamed out of doing what he did, only his feelings would have been hurt, as opposed to the feelings of one wife, one girlfriend and at least four children.