N&W in 1909--Station scene

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Thu Jun 4 20:48:59 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 7, 1909

Public Demonstration of Elopers So Vehement That They Are Told to Cease

The passionate love passes of Romeo and Juliet, the tender scenes between Robert Burns and his Highland Mary, the amours of the scarce bearded Caesar, or the traitor Anthony and Cleopatra, or any other old love-making match in history were not in it for the remotest fragment of time with a love performance pulled off in the waiting room of the Norfolk and Western passenger station yesterday morning.
A couple of couples, male and female, two of each persuasion, ranging in age to all appearances from fifteen to eighteen, headed for Bristol to interview Brother Burrows, came in from the hill country, or some other seaport, to take the noon train for matrimony. In the waiting room the four did a stunt in hugging kissing and free hand love making never before witnessed in public on American soil. Saying the least, it was something fierce. A good crowd gathered to witness the performance. Soon standing room was at a premium, but the lovers heeded not and went on with their billing and cooing entirely oblivious of the gaze of the curious.
Finally, a railroad employe had to interfere and gently but firmly requested them to ring down the curtain and bring their show to a close.
[As a youth in Bluefield and Princeton I remember hearing that Tennessee wedding licenses could be obtain much more easily than in nearby states, so couples would elope on the N&W to Bristol, Virginia, and step across to the opposite side of State Street and get married in Bristol, Tennessee. Possibly "Brother Burrows" was Bristol, Tennessee's equivalent of Marrying Sam of Dogpatch fame.]

Gordon Hamilton
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