Could Be a Long Ride

April 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I love railroads.

I have tickets (to be used) for train rides in North Carolina and two different ones here in Tennessee. My grandfather worked on the railroad. For years, I had a model railroad. I have this connection to trains. It started when I was very young. My mother would take me to watch the trains at the crossing near our home. I had a scrapbook when I was a kid that I filled with pictures of trains that I cut out from the newspaper and magazines. Most of the time, I still enjoy waiting and watching the train pass by on the track.

One evening, when I was a high school senior in Effingham, Illinois I was in a hurry. The lights were flashing, the crossing arm was down. I could see the lights of the engine waaaaay down the track. And so I just weaved in and around the crossing gates. There was a police car on the other side. Funny how I hadn't noticed that before I had made my slalom run.

He flashed his lights. And began his inquiry. I had an Indiana drivers' license. The car had Missouri license plates. And I lived in Illinois. It took a little while to get it all sorted out, because obviously I needn't be in a hurry anymore. I got a warning (printed and signed), a lecture about going around crossing gates, and some advice.  "Next time could be your last short trip." 

No thanks, sir. I want this to be a long ride. I'm not done yet.


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