Friends are everywhere — just look around you. We have had the unique opportunity to meet new friends, young and old, during the four years the Best Friend of Charleston Railway Museum was at the Citadel Mall. We already miss everyone we ran trains with on many Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
There are many people who come to mind each day. We think of something they said or the way they smiled when given special attention. We just loved those moments.
We made friends with people who shared their special talents with us.
The family of Southern Railway conductor John Smith helped make the museum an interesting place.
They each found their own niche, whether it was sharing stories about their train trips or trains they remembered as children, or maybe just slipping a little money into the donation box as they were leaving the museum.
We found that funds to cover museum expenses often appeared right at the last minute, when it looked as if we were going to have to shut our doors.
Help came from the Norfolk Southern Corporation, from the Post and Courier Foundation, from Sea Island Habitat for Humanity Restore, the City of Charleston, and from the concessions the Citadel Mall make possible for us to have a museum under its roof, from Pat Barber at Superior Transportation and from family and friends that wanted us to have our “time in the sun” to allow visitors of all descriptions to spend time at the museum, ask questions about the artifacts and maps and even run a model train and sometimes a toy Lego train — when it was not being too temperamental.
Special mention has to go to the family of Henry Hutson. We were proud to have the opportunity to work with Henry Hutson. He was indeed a Southern gentleman who always brought sunshine with him when he visited the museum.
He loved talking with our young train fans and they loved being around him. His pride was especially evident when he was accompanied by his daughter, Mary Pope Hutson.
To all of our friends, we cherish the time we had with you.
We thank you for the help you gave us along the way. We hope you smile each time you think of us, just as we smile when we think of you.
We’ll see you soon at the Best Friend Building on John Street. Let’s hope we all visit on the same day!
Mary M. Lehr
For the Volunteers at
The Best Friend of Charleston
Charleston Chapter NRHS
Marsh Oak Lane