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[Fwd: [at-l] History of the AT]

Because of an overwhelming reaction (Thanks Red), here's
that story I was almost talking about...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [at-l] History of the AT
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 22:25:52 -0800

History of the Appalachian Trail:

Most folks remember the mid-80's when the Japanese  were
everything they could get their hands on in America. Most
folks are 
unaware that it all started back in the late 19th century.
In August of 
1892, a large group of Japanese settled the area now known
as Toccoa, 
Georgia. (This name comes from the fact that the locals had
no idea how 
to spell "Tokyo")  The Japanese, being entrepreneurs without
began selling their wares: fruits, canned goods, tack. The
area became 
known far and wide for its fine stock of many necessities,
and a few 

The locals still had trouble communicating with the
Japanese. Some of the 
names of the store owner's were so long that they had
letters the locals 
had never even seen before, let alone pronounced. So, a
store owner was 
generally called by a nickname relative to what his product
was. The 
owner of the general store was known as "General". The owner
of the bait 
shop was "Worm". The owner of the fruit stand was "Apple".
And so on.

Of all the store owners, "Apple" (real name J. Fred
Yamaguchi) was the 
most innovative. He decided to start raising and
transporting his own 
apples. "Well," thought J. Fred, "anyone can raise apples
locally. I 
shall buy an orchard in the north and bring the produce
here. If I do 
this with my own company, I shall cut out the middleman."
(Footnote: This 
was all thought in Japanese. This is a loose translation.)

J. Fred travelled to the north and bought the finest orchard
he could 
find. It was in New Hampshire. "Now," pondered J. Fred, "how
will I get 
the apples to Toccoa?" After much deliberation, it was
decided: train. 
The great railroad was the best way to get the apples from
the orchard in 
New Hampshire to the apple stand in Toccoa. Well, the
problem was that no 
railroad ran from New Hampshire to Toccoa. What to do? 

J. Fred went back to Toccoa and talked to his Japanese
counterparts. They 
agreed that with a rail linking them with their suppliers in
the north, 
all the shop owners could carry more products and save on
overhead. A new 
rail company was born and land purchasing began. 

In their efforts to buy land, the Japanese would tell the
landowners that 
they wanted to put in a 'train rail'. The locals would laugh
at the way 
the Japanese would say this. Later, they shortened it to
'"T" rail.' As 
the land-purchasing made its way north, across the ridges of
the highest 
mountains, the clearing of the future railroad began.
Progress was being 
made at an astonishing pace.

As is often the case in business dealings such as this one,
there began 
some dissention. The land had been purchased all the way to
J. Fred's 
orchard and the clearing process was nearly complete. Some
of the other 
business owners became upset when J. Fred tried to name the
rail company 
"Yamaguchi Express". So, it was agreed that a compromise was
in order. 
They wanted a name that would show their pride in their
heritage. The day 
the crew clearing the way for the rail reached the orchard
(near Pinkham 
Notch, it is believed), J. Fred unveiled a sign proclaiming
the name of 
the new company (This was also on the checks and letterheads
as well...). 
The sign read: 

 "Apple's Asian 'T'-Rail"

Well, needless to say, this did not meet with the approval
of  the others 
involved in the company. Before the first section of rail
was laid, the 
company disbanded. J. Fred moved to Bastian, VA, where he
had fancied a 
mountain girl he had met, and opened a mart. Most of the
rest of the 
businessmen moved to Minot, North Dakota and began making
wind chimes. 
I don't know how the hell the Trail ended up on Katahdin...



Now with FICTION!!!

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