This Train


My father loved trains.

They were one of his passions.  My father died in September of 2009 from congestive heart failure.  I miss him.

The reason I bring this up is there was an article in the paper…wait minute, I mean on my Yahoo homepage, about how there is an effort being made to eliminate one of this country’s most famous trains, the Southwest Chief.

The Southwest Chief runs between Los Angeles and Chicago allowing riders to see some of the most beautiful parts of the US.

I read the Yahoo article because I too, like trains.  This is probably because of my father who used to take my sister and me, when we were little, to the train station on Sundays to get us out of the house so my mother could cook that day’s evening meal, which was kinda a big production.  We sat in the backseat of his car and waited for the trains.  I remember that the trains were very loud as they passed. I think I covered my ears back then, when I didn’t wear hearing aids.  And big, at least to a five year old.  I also remember eating M & M’s on those Sundays back when that candy was the best part of the experience.

Anyway, reading the article today about the Southwest Chief provided me with a goal, born out of affection for my father who himself loved his father, who just happened to have been a train conductor in New York, which is to ride that train before it ceases to run anymore.

Ideally I’d like for Harry and I to make a journey from Los Angeles to perhaps Arizona or New Mexico on the Chief.  Perhaps in the late fall.  I anticipate that such a trip would require a lot of research and planning.  That’s OK though, because I like to research and plan.

“The station master’s shuffling cards
Boxcars are banging in the yards “

—-Joni Mitchell

The truth is I probably won’t make the trip.  But it is fun to think about it and that’s OK. At least in my opinion.

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