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2 comments on this post.
  1. Steve Dunham:

    Another telltale was a set of straps hanging over the railroad tracks to warn workers on top of trains that they were nearing a bridge or tunnel or something else with low clearance. When I was a kid (in the 50s and 60s), freight cars still had roof walks on them, though the need for railroad workers to get on top was disappearing, along with the roof walks and telltales.

  2. Ronnie Bray:

    When I was a lad, shortly after the Iceberg incident, there was a bit of doggerel employed when someone told a tale that was not only not believed but when the vendor of the yarn was considered a suitable target for hostility. I cannot write the music, it was more of a chant in a minor key, but the words went thus”

    “Tell-tale tit.
    Your tongue shall split.
    And all the little dickie-birds
    Shall have a little bit.”

    It was a mark of shame to have this chanted at you by an increasingly broadening chorus of mean-spirited detective-minded veracity-conscious schoolboys.

    I am pleased that I was never the recipient of this award from the dark depths of young boys’ souls. That was probably not because I always told the truth – one had to survive somehow – but because I said very little.

    I have made more than adequate compensation for my shortage of verbosity since then.

    Ronnie “Luddite Spring” Bray

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