Lake Alfred in 1959, Sam DeVite was labled" The Man of Many Hats" . Sam
was the lone agent or one-man office force of the Lake Alfred
Atlantic Coastline Railroad Station, he could tallie up the days
reciepts wih one hand while the other hand held the phone as he
answered questions about train schedules and shipping rates.
In 1959 the one-man railroad stations may be fading,but they'll never pass altogether,Sam DeVite was sure on this point. He's the ticket agent, freight agent, telegrapher, clerk and messinger of the Atlantic Coast Line. The one-man agencies which were left carry their own weight and they can't be replaced.
DeVite was a busy man, with 6 trains a day stoping at Lake Alfred and a variety of duties to preform on each arrival and departure thee was no time for relaxing.
As the ticket agent he interprets timetables, advises outbound travelers on best routs and sells tickets, while wearing the same hat he has to help incoming passengers who get off at Lake Alfred by pointing to the right direction for those not exactly sure where they should go or where they are. He also has to keep his record of ticket sales, and if he had time, he could change his hat for his next job, freight agent for a station handling $60,000 to $65,000 worth of freight each month.
Sam also has to provide an unmeasurable amount of free advice as to what can and can not be shipped and how it should be packed and how much it will cost to send dear Aunt Martha a box of fruit and why does it cost so much if the train is already going in that dirction, all this while keeping up on his other duties as well as the telephone.
As a telegrapher DeVite can pound out 40 words a minute, which in that business is just short of fabulous.
DeVite also has to keep records on every transaction of the station, he also has to make bank deposits and he is on call 24 hours a day to pass on along train orders in case of a washout or other emergency.
Sam DeVite says " It's all in a days work " he has been in Lake Alfred for 9 years and with the ACL for 19 years, so a working day is a loose term for his job discription.