In 1973, Barnie Botone got a job in Albuquerque, N.M., working on the railroad. He was 22 years old.
Now, 67, Botone remembers when he told his grandmother that he'd be working as an engineer for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. He had been excited to share the news, but her reaction, he explains in a StoryCorps conversation, was not what he expected.
"She cried with a moan, because the irony — it was too much to bear," Botone says.