The plight of the ageing black railroadmen moved Houston deeply as he threw his energies into litigation to prevent further and faster attirition in their ranks. .....Joseph Waddy, Houston's law partner recalls..."I remember once we were in the home of a lblack brakeman in Roanoke,... There must have been fifteen or twnety brakemen sitting around with us, all of them fifty years old or more, and there was this one old-timer who must have been seventy and was all white-haired, who was carrying on about how they had to save their jobs for their children and grandchildren, so there would be other generations of black men on the railroads. And then the old timer used this phrase that filled Charlie [Houston] up emotionally. He said they also had to save the jobs for themselves and protect 'these old heads blooming for the grave.' Charlie never forgot that. The railroadmen loved him. They'd do anything he asked."
Richard Kluger, Simple Justice