Corsale, Eugene J. “Gene”. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Leona Casey Signor.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 3, March 16, 2021
Leona Casey Signor
Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Elijah McKee, Class of 2021
Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald, WSONP Co-founder and City Historian of Saratoga Springs, UWW Class of 2000
June 3, 1999
Annotated Transcription Publication Date
March 16, 2021
railroad work, train accidents, railroad-crossing shanties, Italian-Americans, World War II
Eugene J. “Gene” Corsale (1928-2014) grew up in an Italian-American “railroad family” rooted on the West Side of Saratoga Springs. Like other family members, Gene spent his early years working on upstate New York railroads, except for the period he served in the US Navy during the Korean War. Gene’s stories reveal the grandeur and admiration of locomotive technology, along with dangers that resulted in deadly crashes and scarred communities. Gene recounts the heyday and decline of the railroads, railroad work as a teenager on the home front during World War II, and the importance of the railroad for transporting military troops, tourists, and horses. His account touches on changing aspects of West Side life, including neighborhood closeness, conversations from porches, walks to the former high school, and alley shortcuts. Gene also describes his family’s connections to the railroad-crossing shanty that serves as a memorial to railroad workers of Saratoga Springs. [Interview duration: 00:39:43]
Corsale, Eugene J. “Gene”. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Leona Casey Signor.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 3, March 16, 2021, edited by Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Elijah McKee, and Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald. Saratoga Springs, NY: Scribner Library, Skidmore College.
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