Updated December 16, 2005
Our Best Friend and Beloved Railroad Family Member Larry Solomon passed away on Thursday 11/17/2005, after a year of pain and suffering.
Even when he was feeling bad and even
on his darkest days, his wonderful smile and great sense of humor were ever
He was an honest, loving, caring, dedicated man who lived a hard life, but always acknowledged that his reward for all of this were his railroad friends and the joy they brought him.
Even as he suffered with leukemia and other sadness in his life, Larry still had some joy in his life, including posing with the Red Sox World Series trophy......The same World Series trophy he was going to throw off the train because the case it was being carried in didn't have a baggage tag.
Larry Solomon was a typical "what you see
is what you get type guy." There was nothing phony about him. While a lot of
our "Brothers" always talk a good game when it comes to taking a stand, Larry
was the guy who actually did stand up.
Larry's true pride and joy was his railroad and
especially his railroad friends, who were in fact his family, the people he
loved and the people who loved him right back.
Good ol' Shmootah, always a sucker for a pretty face!
Words cannot express how devastated we all are by his passing, but thankfully, the great memories of Larry Solomon will live on in each of us and his spirit will live on in our hearts and souls.
Some fond memories of Larry from fellow friends and railroaders can be found below.......
Party 2005 Tribute To Larry Solomon
By Conductor Moe Burke
I just want to say a few words about and to our dear friend Larry Solomon,
who has left us, but not in spirit. This is your day Larry, and I know you
are with us here. You could not ask for a better friend than Larry. He would
always be there for you. Whether it was advice about something or a
problem on the Train he would be there to help. He took a lot of pride in his
work and his Family was us. The Railroad Family. Thru all the trial and
tribulations, Larry went thru, he kept on keeping on. He was not afraid to show his emotions when things were just not right. He was a very proud man
and also proud of his heritage, who took his job seriously.
When he was the Conductor, It was my train he would say.
I am reminded of the situation of the" Blackout" in New York City, when the managers were in hiding mode.
Larry broke up a conference that they were having, and told them how about taking care of the crews that needed food and water. That was his style. Looking out for others.
He and I worked together on 2163-2170, and we would go to the Gym at Bally's.
I would call him the AOL Man as he would be flying on the treadmill. He enjoyed going there, and it really bothered him when he had to stop going. But he kept smiling all the while.
I think the biggest thing in his railroad career was the Red Sox Trophy, which almost got thrown off because of the size. He was beaming from ear to ear, and established a connection with the Red Sox organization. There are so many stories to tell about this man, but I think for me the best on was on the final week he was here on earth.
I went to visit him in the hospital. He was under a lot of medication. His daughter was there and left. So I spent 2 Hrs with him and he woke up and looked at me and said, I know your here!!! And patted my hand. That was the last words I had with my dear friend. He passed three day later.
So Larry might not be here Ladies and Gentlemen, but his spirit lives on in our hearts and souls. Be good to your Brothers and Sisters. Be kind and fair. Life is too short.
Even though the Train Ride has ended for dear friend, let his life experiences be a living lesson for us all.
got I got Larry good one time as I was dead
heading back from NHV, It was in
the winter of 1995 I believe it on #164. He was working it back, but sat
down across from me closed his eyes, started snoring. We were coming into
New London, so I lean over and say "Westerly" loud enough for just him to
He jumps up thinking he missed New London, muttered something about how he
could he have missed a stop.
He finally got his bearings when he look out the window and saw New London
He then started in on me, "I can't believe you did that to me", "you got
me", laughing the whole time.
I have since switched to commuter but would see Larry all he time. The last
few times I saw him he was going in for treatments. We usually talked for a
few minutes. I was amazed at how positive he was with all he was going
through. He would be smiling the whole time.
MBCR Conductor Jim Vail
I want to thank you for the beautiful tribute you wrote about my cousin. He would tell me all kinds of funny stories about his day. We have become very close within the last three years and he shared his sad and happy times. I would always expect his phone call every night.
If I didn't hear from him I would search him out to see what was wrong. I am the cousin who went to Florida on Feb. vacation. I would meet him at the rte. 128 and he would flag me down to let me know where he was. We would spend the time at Penn Station talking about my trip and if the train was going to leave on time. He must have told his Amtrak family about his 94yr. old aunt that is my mother.
He was just a wonderful person I always felt like I had another brother.
I would talk to him more than my brother. I am going to miss his phone calls and the quiet company we shared going to New York. I thank everyone for making his life a happier!
From Larry's Cousin, Gail
I just read the beautiful, beautiful
words written about my friend
His railroad family was the love of his life and he used to tell me
that he'd get up in the morning, often when it was dark, and couldn't
wait to get on the train and go to New York and see his railroad family
and his regular passengers and get to walk around the city and actually
get paid. And then he would shake his head, and his smile would turn
into a chuckle. He loved you. You gave of yourselves and the
relationship was a complete one.
His other family in Randolph was his synagogue family, although I
suspect that he had other families too.
Temple Beth Am was fortunate to have Larry as one of our congregants
and your tribute to him confirms to us that his love of mitzvot (good
deeds and acts of kindness) is his legacy from Randolph to the
sidewalks of New York.
How can you not miss a guy like that?
From Larry's Friend Peter Swartz, from Temple Beth Am
Here is a little story your readers might get a kick of, true Larry at his best.
When I was promoted to management I was deadheading home from doing classes in DC. When we got to New Haven Larry was part of the train crew, when we left the station Larry asked me for my ticket (he was fooling, but I did not know it). I said I was an employee and going home to Boston. He said the only place I was going was to the next stop. I said Larry we have worked together many times, I was an Engineer. He remarked I don't know any Engineers that wear suits. I said my position requires me to wear a suit while on the property. I said Larry, look at me, I am Freddy Caruso, Fastman. His reply was tickets! Thinking he was serious I asked to talk to him in the vestibule. He started laughing and said he was putting me on. Man, was he good.
From Locomotive Engineer Fred Caruso Sr.
From our friend Jeff, the first trick voice of PSCC in New York City, I will miss him very much. This is such a sad moment.
What makes it so sad is that I did not know him that well, but around three months ago, I saw him in PSNY near the Seventh Avenue entrance and stopped him. I said, "aren't you Larry Solomon." and he said "Yes, that is me." I shook his hand and explained to him that "...we share mutual friends through Brian," and how I recognized him through Brian's website. I explained to him that "I am the other Jew on the railroad." He laughed and understood my humor and we spoke for about twenty minutes about each other. I told him that I wanted to see him again and I did on and off in the trainman's room and around the station. Then, I did not see him anymore...
One thing we shared was how rare it is to be Jewish on the railroad and how we both understood that we don't work on Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Simchas Torah, but how important it was for us to work on Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, etc to make ourselves available so that our colleagues could get the day off. We understood that there is an ethical balance in this arrangement.
He was such a sweet, gentle man and I feel terrible regret that I did not have more contact with him. I know we would have been very close friends. I am so sorry for him, his family and especially his Zone 1 family. He was easy to be with, easy to kid with and easy to make friends with.
I will miss the Larry Solomon that I really wanted to know more...
It's too bad and life is just too short and this is clearly another missed opportunity.