Great summary - - - thanks. Yes, I knew John Kirkland well, going back to when I was in the Marketing Department of BLH, (1962-1965) before I was moved out to the shops. And even in my shop job, we were always dealing with Kirkland, who bragged that there were more Baldwin locomotives in the "eleven Western States" (his territory) in the '60's, than when BLH was actually manufacturing diesels. And he was right! Anytime one of his customers was adding motive power, and they did often, Kirkland would scurry around and pick up, always at a good price, a similar, or identical loco from the East. His customers loved it since it greatly simplified their maintenance situation. (and of course generated Renewal Parts!). When BLH was closed, and John was retired, we (Baldwin-Hamilton Company) asked him to come and work for us. We set up a small office in South San Francisco (with a public stenographer) and John went in every day; he knew the customers so well that he could keep in touch by telephone or by mail, making the lengthy sales tour about twice a year. (It would take him 2/3 weeks just to cover major customers, given the geography of the eleven States). As our business declined, we needed to cut our expenses, so John started to work out of his home, eliminating office rent and his salary, with the understanding that we would pay for his travel expenses and much-needed tours, once or twice a year. It was a wonderful relationship! Yes, at that time he was working on other books (EMD, etc.) but I don't know where his notes might be, or if he was far enough along for anyone to pick up the pieces. After his wife, Dorothy died, John went downhill and became very "forgetful." Later his eyesight failed and with other physical problems his daughter, Ruth K. Chesarek, had to move him into a nursing home. While he was able he followed our business (Baldwin-Hamilton) carefully along with limited correspondence with Al Hoefer and Matt Gray , but as he aged that became impossible. Yes, John Kirkland was a very unusual person with meticulous research into all his books (and often added personal insight). A stern, but gracious, District Manager, expert in his dealings with customers, and a great friend. I arranged to have much of his personal correspondence, particularly with Al Hoefer, donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, after meeting with Hoefer's widow. End of story.
Henry A. Rentschler