Local train enthusiast featured in Photo of the Month for August

Senior Center News
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Richard Chapple

The featured Photo of the Month for August is Richard Chapple of Hardin, taken by Margaret Arbogast with him standing in front of one of his model trains that was displayed at the Hardin Senior Center.

Richard’s life story is very interesting and enjoyable to hear. He was born in Hibbing, Minnesota. The family moved to Deaver, Wyoming in 1946 and then onto Billings in 1952.

According to Richard, he must have loved trains from “the first time I took a breath.” He remembered his father returning from World War II and the first thing Richard did was ask him for a train.

As a young boy, he would watch the sky get dark and the clouds overcome the sunlight. He did not realize this was the sun setting for the day, but thought the clouds were made of smoke from trains – and when the smoke from the trains left, it became daylight again. This was his world.

When the family lived in Deaver, train engineers allowed him to be inside the train and spend time with them if he would run to the store for them. He said he always ran really fast, so he could make it back to spend time with the train.

He thinks he was influenced by his mother’s father, who was a railroad man. Richard never worked for the railroad, but always had wanted to.

Richard’s story of his grandfather in Hibbing, Minnesota is full of adventure and lore. The grandfather was an entrepreneur and ran the businesses as well as the people of the town. He had so much influence he could pay a person to serve his jail time during those Prohibition days.

Richard, like his grandfather, is a record collector. His first recollection of music that moved him was Vaughn Monroe’s “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

Richard’s lifelong passions have been music and trains. He started guitar lessons at six years old. He sang bass in a Barber Shop Quartet in Billings and has vowed to play his guitar every day. He enjoys every minute he can spend playing his guitar.

Another of Richard’s heroes was his own father. He was an airplane builder who not just assembled the airplane, but built everything that would make it work – the engines, the propellers, the wings, every part of it. Richard wishes he could have that type of talent.

He has an enormous collection of trains, building his own tracks and even one to ride on in the back yard.

Richard’s wife, Alice, isn’t in love with the trains the way Richard is, but I bet you she knows where to find him.

We celebrated National Senior Citizens Day on Aug. 21, as declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. We offered a $1 discount for seniors who were here for the chili and cinnamon roll dinner, and had three drawings for gift certificates from Bill’s Auto in Hardin. This day is to commemorate seniors for their contributions to the community and family throughout the years.

The September menu/ calendar is available at the center. The drawing for the Gift Basket fundraiser is at noon on Tuesday, Sept.

4. Tickets are six for $5 or $1 each. This basket holds enough gifts for 20 people, I would say. Volunteers are needed to help decorate the center at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5. A donation will be taken to the local Child and Family Services on Thursday, Sept. 13 of new crayons, pencils and pens. Your contribution will be appreciated. Our phone numbers are (406) 665-2581 or (406) 665-9768. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our address is 317 N. Custer in the Little Big Horn Center Complex, south door.

Hardin Senior Center menu:

Thursday, Aug. 30 – spaghetti salad, garlic bread, dessert

Friday, Aug. 31 – fish burgers, potatoes, vegetables, dessert

Monday, Sept. 3 – Labor Day

Tuesday, Sept. 4 – beef stew, sandwich, dessert

Wednesday, Sept. 5 – meat loaf, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, dessert

Thursday, Sept. 6 – hot turkey sandwich, potatoes, vegetables, dessert

Lodge Grass Senior Center menu:

Friday, Aug. 31 – chicken and rice casserole, peas, orange Jell-O, bread, fruit cocktail cake No further menu items available

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