Don, I remember it like it was yesterday, and you are substantially correct. It was June 4, 1960, first departure I believe was at 1:00 PM. I rode the second section with my family (the diesels were #3 and #10, specially repainted for the celebration- they were the only RS-3's to ever be repainted). I was 13 at the time. The photo is of the 2124 backing its train clear of the station before the runs; the two kids front and center are my brother and I (I'm the one in the black shirt). The engineer was Ned Sutton, a neighbor and friend- his son and I were best friends in school. At the time, I believe Ned was at the top of the seniority list, and one of the few left still qualified for steam and passenger service.
I am not (and never have been) a 'morning person', but I was up before 5 AM that Saturday morning, listening for the sound of the 2124's whistle coming up the valley.When we heard it, my father, brother and I hightailed it for the shops to await its arrival (only about three blocks from the house). There it was watered and coaled up (from a gondola, using the L&HR Burro crane 220 with its clamshell bucket).
All the L&HR men knew us, and we knew all of them (we were no strangers to the yards), so naturally we spent some time in the 2124's cab that morning...
The whole town, and the railroad, had been gearing up for this day for most of the year; displays in the Library, dress-up 1860 costume and beard competitions, special suppliments to both weekly newspapers, the railroad had taken 'bobber' caboose #81 and put it on display on the railroad green for the summer, several L&HR souveniers for the occasion.
Another neighbor, a Mr. Dolson, was a retired conductor who went back to the passenger days; he dug out his complete uniform and worked the train 'on duty'. He wasn't particularly friendly as a neighbor, but on the train he seemed as happy as a kid in a candy store!
As you put it so well, "a good time was had by all"; even the weather co-operated- it was an almost perfect spring day. And to a thirteen year old, all was right with the world.