Today in My History
CHOO CHOO TRAIN
10 March 2020
I found this on Facebook. It was written by author Amy Ferris ("Marrying George Clooney"). It is so perfect, I wanted to save it here:
My mother doesn't scream and demand I leave any more -- hasn't done that in a couple of years, but all the rest is all too true. When you love someone with dementia, there is a part of you which is just sad all the time.
...but here's a change of topic.
Walt and I stumbled across a PBS show last night, called "Great Scenic Railway Journeys." If you are at all interested in trains, I recommend checking it out on your local PBS station; it is being run several times.
It's the story of many scenic and historic tourist railroads in this country -- did you know there are ~500 of them???
I have always loved trains, which is guess came from my father working on one for about 30 years. He was a railway mail clerk, sorting mail on a train ("The Lark," a Southern Pacific overnight passenger train running from San Francisco to Los Angeles) to Los Angeles.
This is how the job is described:
He was one of those guys who picked up bags of mail at various railway stations, hanging on poles, which he hooked as the train moved by, and continued to sort them all the way to L.A. My then boyfriend went to high school near the train and sometimes stood out in the field to wave at him when the train went through.
His schedule was that he would leave, for example, on a Monday morning, work the train all night to the next morning when it arrived in LA, spend the day in a hotel and then get back on the train that night and be home on Wednesday. Then he'd have two or three days off and then do it over again. Our weeks were never the same throughout my childhood.
He worked on the train until 1968, which is when the Lark stopped running, and they began delivering mail by bus. He then moved into the main post office, which he hated so much he had a nervous breakdown and had to retired.
Anyway, I guess it was his working on trains that made me like them so much. We often drove to the train station in San Francisco to pick him up and sometimes I got to get on the mail car (I remember the paper cups where I could get iced water...my favorite memory of the mail car!)
Walt and I have ridden the train a few times. Our longest trip was to Colorado, when our friend Jane, from England, was spending time there. That was a fun trip because there was a regular on the train who would let us know what was coming up around every turn on the track. Only time I have seen a tree with many bald eagles in it.
I took the train to Seattle a couple of times to visit my late friend Diane. And we've done tourist trains, like the Skunk Train, from Ft. Bragg to Mendocino -- a fun train because it was a steam train.
After Brianna was born, I took the train to Santa Barbara to see her. I loved that ride and hoped to do it regularly, but my visits didn't fit in with her parents schedules and taking the train meant I had no transportation in Santa Barbara, so I only did it that one time, but it was a great ride.
Walt and I drove to Canada on our honeymoon and I said then, 54 years ago, that it would be wonderful to take a train trip across the Canadian Rockies, but we never did.
I know that today's trains are much better for the environment, but I'm sorry--there is something just so powerful and exciting seeing a nice steam train.
UPDATE: I forgot about the
Durango to Silverton. which we took with the kids.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7292