Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thomas J Burks, June 30, 1936 - October 15, 2012

Mr. Tom Burks, the Owner of Wholesale Lumber and various oddities and commodities, passed away on October 15, 2012.

It was the good fortune of mine to have known Mr. Burks for the last 17 years. He was a friend I could pop in on any time and sit for hours just shooting the breeze. The most down to earth man I ever met, and a natural in the ways of trade. The Dalai Lama said "share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality". If I have made any success of my business I owe a good deal of that to Mr. Burks for sharing so many stories and experiences with me over the years. I will miss his wit and counsel.

One of Mr. Burks' favorites was this old steam railroad train he owned. It was made in Philadelphia in 1963 by Crown Metals. It is a replica of the trains that were running in 1860. This train ran for 20 years at Legend City, Arizona (an amusement park) and later in El Paso for 5 years at Magic Landing before Mr. Burks bought it. The train was laid up in one of Mr. Burks' warehouses for ten years before moving it to The El Paso Connection a few years ago. It can be seen from the freeway and attracts thousand of visitors every year. Stop by and see it next time you're rolling through town.


Type: 4-4-0 American, 1965 Model
Manufacturer: Crown Metals
Serial Number: 33136
Track Gauge: 36"
Length (Engine & Tender): 45'
Height (Top of Rail to Top of Stack: 12' 6"
Weight (Engine & Tender): 25 Tons Dry
Cylinders: 9" Bore x 16" Stroke
Diameter of Drivers: 48"
Boiler: 200# ASME
Brakes: Automatic Air
Air Compressor: Steam Driven
Fuel: Oil/Propane
Equipment: Bells, Whistles, Injectors, Cab Lights, Etc.
Turning Radius: 150'

Length: 37'
Capacity: 80 Adults
Height: 10' 6"
Weight Empty: 20,000 LBS.

RAILROAD CABOOSE                                                
Length: 30'
Capacity: 40 Adults
Height: 10' 6"

See it at The El Paso Connection at 14301 Gateway Boulevard West, El Paso, Texas.

Thank you for visiting today.

Thomas J Burks
Wholesale Lumber
The El Paso Connection

The Penalty of Leadership

In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man’s work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be mediocre, he will be left severely alone – if he achieve a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a -wagging. Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious, continue to cry out that it cannot be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by. The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy – but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as human passions – envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains – the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live — lives.
written by Theodore F. MacManus

A deadly viper once bit a hole snipe's hide; But 'twas the viper, not the snipe, that died.

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El Paso, Texas, United States
Native Texan · Navy Veteran · Various Scars and Tattoos · No Talent yet a Character

One From the Archives

Post #1234

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied...



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