- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - Paul and Ruth Twomey are two for the road - and two for the railroad.

Originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, the Twomeys took to the road about five years ago, living full-time in their travel trailer and exploring and enjoying life wherever life might lead them, The Lawton Constitution (https://bit.ly/1bmgJ2p ) reported.

“Home is where we park it,” Ruth Twomey says smiling, referring to the couple’s comfortable 25-foot Gulfstream.

Most recently that has been in Duncan, where the Twomeys volunteered to contribute to the latest chapter in the story of the ongoing restoration of the historic “905” locomotive, the main attraction at Duncan’s Rock Island 905 Museum.

The Twomeys are into more than just roaming and sightseeing. Often when they stop someplace, it’s to volunteer to fix something that needs fixing or to build something or otherwise contribute. Favorite destinations have included places like San Angelo State Park in Texas, where they volunteered to build duck houses, and Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, where they volunteered to fix benches and signs.

“Volunteering is just very rewarding,” said Paul Twomey.

Since they always have been “kind of fascinated” by railroads and rail history, he added that stops at railroad museums are rather frequent. During a previous pass through Duncan the Twomeys read about the restoration of the 105-year-old 905, realized how they might contribute by crafting some special “slider”- style windows for the locomotive and met with Mike Stuckert, the driving force behind the restoration. They decided to come back in May, and Stuckert said the 905 is now sporting some great new windows, as faithful to the original as anyone could craft. Each measuring 28 inches high by 22 wide, they open in such a way that an engineer might easily have leaned out to rest an elbow on an 8-inch wide sill and look ahead as the 905 barreled down tracks.

“They did it the right way,” Stuckert said.

It hasn’t been all work and no play for the Twomeys. They said they enjoyed being around Fuqua Park, home to the 905 Museum, Kiddieland and a recent carnival.

“It’s organized and neat,” Paul Twomey said of the 905 Museum. “This is well-done. A lot of thought went into it.”

Indeed, folks who haven’t stopped into the museum in a while might like to visit to check out GScale model railroads that run along multiple tracks built on plexiglass suspended overhead. Stuckert said newest attractions also include a large safe stout enough to have foiled almost any train robber and some working telegraph equipment sure to capture the interest of older people and the imaginations of younger ones.

As enjoyable as they’ve found Duncan, the Twomeys said they’ll be on their way soon. They mentioned a caboose they know needs work in Oelwein, Iowa, and another one in Columbus, New Mexico. They do plan to return to Duncan, though, to do some more work on the 905 in the future.

“There’s enough for us to see and do to last us three lifetimes,” Paul Twomey said.


Information from: The Lawton Constitution, https://www.swoknews.com



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