The year is early 1952 as USRA light Mikado 4003 sits forlornly on a storage track in the Frisco's Fort Smith yard as he awaits the cold loneliness of storage . The old Mike was once one of the largest locomotives on the division, handling both passenger and freight work along side the smaller 2-8-0's that dominated the Fort Smith too Monett section of the division.
But after 43 years of continuous service time had taken it's tole on 4003.
His once shining gloss back paint scheme had faded to a dull shade of gray, his side rods and crankpins were stiff and creaked and groaned loudly at low speed, and brake downs started to become more and more frequent as the years dragged on until it reached a point that the Frisco had to retire the old Mikado from active service.
Though before 4003 could be stored, his Engineer requested to have a photograph taken of him and his engine so that when he's old and gray he could look at the picture and think back to all the good times he, his Fireman and 4003 had.
A reminder of better days...