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GM&O Is Spelled C-O-O-L!
Most notably, the GM&O was featured prominently in the 1967 movie In The Heat Of The Night, which was filmed in Sparta, Illinois. Staring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, the gritty murder mystery/thriller won 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor (Steiger). The actors may have won the awards, but we know who the real star was. Additionally, the Sparta depot still stands, indeed it has been restored as a museum for local artist Roscoe Misslehorn’s work. An area within the depot is devoted to memorabilia associated with the filming of the movie. Information about the museum may be seen at: http://www.egyptian.net/~mgallery/index.html.
Guitarist extraordinaire Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Frank Zappa) wrote his ode to railroading in a first person account of falling in love with trains, then working on the rails, and finally seeing the railroads’ displacement by air travel. Belew, a native of Covington, Kentucky, also has strong Illinois ties. The Rail Song is excerpted here where the protagonist hires on with the GM&O. It’s not quite the Wabash Cannonball or Rock Island Line, but what is? Click on the cap to listen to what is probably the only song mentioning the GM&O.
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This page was last updated on 8 March 2017