A special book for train lovers and others
From the Rear of the Train:
My Story as Eisenhower’s Porter
to Innovator on the Santa Fe Railway
Need something to do during this “stay-at-home time? Try reading this recently-published book by Topekan Larry Wright, Sr. The book is a delight and teaches us much about the historic Santa Fe Railway as well as the racially turbulent 1960’s.
Larry had a distinguished 40-year career with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway spanning the years 1956 – 1995. His book tells an unforgettable story of his courageous struggle for equality as a Black employee of the railroad. Larry chronicles his experiences, achievements and struggles in his own very colorful and personal way.
“Informative, disturbing, inspiring and sometimes very funny.
Larry Wright is an American hero.”
—Elizabeth Farnsworth, a Topeka High School graduate
and former Chief Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour
How to Order:
This book is available through the Great Overland Station for only $10. Please call our office at 785-232-5533. (Leave a message with your name and number if there is no answer because of reduced office hours. We are checking messages frequently and your call will be returned!) We can mail the book to you, or you may pick it up in person at the door.
This book would be a wonderful gift for a family member or friend who loves trains!
Want to know more? Here is some background information about the author:
Mr. Wright arrived in Topeka from Arkansas in 1952 with a football scholarship in hand to play at the Kansas Technical Institute, a black school. When the school closed as a result of the Brown v Board of Education litigation, Larry went to work at the Jayhawk Hotel, worked hard, made friends and was soon recommended for service on the A&SF Railway.
His work ethic and winning personality advanced him rapidly to the job of Business Car Porter, serving some of the railroad’s highest officers. Eventually, he was assigned to former President Eisenhower’s train as it traveled from Gettysburg PA to Palm Springs CA for the winter and back for the summer. From that point on, the Eisenhowers requested his service for every annual trip.
After passage of the Civil Rights Act, Larry sought opportunities to move into positions not formerly open to persons of color. He became a Claim Agent, and eventually was named a Manager of the Personnel Department here in Topeka. Larry initiated many changes at the AT&SF Railway that still stand today.
Larry and his wife Betty reside in Topeka. He was assisted in the writing and editing of his book by his wife and by his son, Larry Wright Jr.
To order call