Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trains, childhood and FDR

Did you ever wave at a train engineer when you were a kid? I can remember many times standing by the tracks and waving. I always got a thrill when he would wave back. It was like being friends with a person from a foreign country. In my mind the man must have stayed on the train always.

Well Sherry and I were caught by an oncoming train and stopped at the barricade. I don’t know what made me do it, but I waved wildly at the engineer who smiled and returned the wave. He was towing a hundred cars. That brought back so many memories. Childhood was wonderful. Thrilling things happened almost daily.
On April 13th or 14th 1945 we did not live close to a rail road track, so I did not see the train carrying FDR’s body to Washington DC. Sherry did live in Belmont at the time and the RR tracks ran right beside the place where her mom & dad worked. So she, along with thousands of folks from the small town gathered along the tracks to watch the famous man pass thru.

Authur Godfrey described the train:
A funeral train slowly brought Roosevelt's body from Warm Springs to Washington. Although copper was rationed as part of the war effort, a copper-lined coffin was built for his internment. After the funeral ceremonies his body was again placed on the train for a last ride to his home in Hyde Park, New York.

Sherry’s dad was a staunch Republican. He was never rich and was a working man. But this time he crossed the line, he always held that FDR was the best president he knew in his lifetime democrat or republican. That was the only times in his lifetime he voted a Democrat ticket. LOL
FDR died in Warm Springs Georgia. 12 April 1945. We have visited Warm Springs; it is a National Historic Place now. There are many interesting things there and worth the time, if you are ever in the area. FDR was truly an interesting person. His home in Hyde Park is also an interesting place.

Several things I remember about trains. I loved to stand on an overpass and watch the old steam engines go under. I loved the smell of the ‘train smoke’. When I saw a train at night with the lights on in the passenger/dining cars, I always wondered where they were going, and wanted to be there. I guess it just fueled my wanderlust.
Our first trip to live in Missouri, we were towing our home, a 42x8 trailer, and drove up highway #63. It runs parallel with the RR. That night the train must have been braking, because it was one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen. There were sparks flying around ALL the steel wheels presenting the appearance of all of them being on fire. It was breath taking to me.
I have never taken a serious train ride. Just the historic trains where they do it as entertainment. We have always planned to take a dinner train out of Bardstown, KY. We haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Nite Shipslog
PS: Andy Rooney said:
We praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 50, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.
I must agree with Andy! I love you ladies who have put up with us ignorant men until we learned how lucky we ARE!




9 comments:

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

w0w,that was a great hist0ry ab0ut y0ur president and y0ur love for train,i have to agree with y0u that childh0od was w0nderful part of our lives,i even missf being a kid s0metimes lol!have a safe j0urney always!
Hugs,
Blue

Dar said...

Awesome entry. I never grew up close enough to trains to even wonder, except when the whistle would blow passing through small towns distances away. Then , I wondered where were they going to take all the coal and wood that they hauled in and out.
Take Sherry and go on that train ride. Ride for me too. I probably will never get that opportunity. My Grandmother took the Amtrac all the way out to Montana when she was 93. Hmmm, maybe I WILL get my chance.
:p :p I loved this entry. Very interesting about the train taking FDR home. I wasn't even a twinkle in my folks eyes yet so I missed it.
Blessya and love from Dar's Place

Paula said...

Don't ya just miss the caboose? After my husband died I rode Amtrac alone from San Antonio to Joliet Illinois to visit my daughter. They thought I was crazy when I could have flown so much faster. I wanted to ride a real train one time in my life.

Woody said...

How are you 2 doing, we are sick of running back and forth to the Doctors, this weeks "SNOW STORM" has made us make up our minds to get out of Dodge, we are heading for the Carolina's and Myrtle Beach!!

That corgi :) said...

very interesting about FDR's funeral train; I think trains make us think of hobos and the open country (at least it does to me)

I have had interesting experiences with trains. When I was 5 years old, my mom took us to see the Christmas lights and while she was waiting at the red light by the train tracks, she fell asleep and drifted onto the tracks with the car with a train coming; thankfully its whistle woke her up and she got out of the way in time. When I was seven I traveled from Pennsylvania to California when we moved and I had a broken leg at a time, that was fun for my mom, (not) and when my son was 7 he fell off of a train (it was an old locomotive at a park); the kids were playing on it and he slipped, falling probably 10 feet. Broke his arm but thankfully he was otherwise okay. But I would take a long train ride again; I think it is so relaxing to watch the scenery go by and let someone do the driving :)

betty

Fred Alton said...

Great entry about trains! From the Church of God parsonage where I was born we could see and hear the trains go by. Dad had hopped the train many times, riding all the way along the Eastern Seaboard. He was what people called a "railroad bum" and drinker until he was "saved" at the age of 20, met my Mom (the preacher's daughter) became a "new man" and was "called" to preach! I'm so glad the train ran through Lacoochee, Florida. I've ridden the train from Florida to Tennessee, and rode a steam train in Guyana, S.Amer, and in Kenya, Africa. As a paying passenger, I might add! Steam train, Diesel train, or Electric train. I love the comfort of the train, plus love the sight-seeing you can do.

Sayit-baldys said...

JACK.
THE ERA OF PASSENGER TRAINS WAS GREAT AS I REMEMBER IT.
TRIPS WHEN A VERY YOUNG BABY I DO NOT OF COURSE REMEMBER.
THEN DURING 5TH, 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH GRADES, ON MY WAY HOME FROM SCHOOL HAD OCCASION TO WATCH FOR THE 4;00 PM PASSENGER TRAIN TO ARRIVE AT THE DEPOT OF THE VERY SMALL TOWN OF CHOUTEAU OKLAHOMA, ALMOST ALWAYS ON TIME.
VERY INTERESTING. LOCAL RESIDENTS GETTING OFF. SOMETIMES GETTING ON. MANY FOLKS DID NOT OWN A CAR. LOTS OF PASSENGER TRAIN TRAVEL.

A 'COMMERCE CAR' HAD MUCH ACTIVITY. CRATES OF CHICKENS, CREAM CANS OF CREAM, EGG CRATES CONTAINING THIRTY DOZEN. BOXES CONTAINING LOAVES OF BREAD. OTHER FOOD ITEMS IN CRATES.

BAGS OF U.S. MAIL.
OTHER PASSENGER TRAIN SCHEDUALS DID NOT STOP AT CHOUTEAU, HOWEVER MAIL BAGS MIGHT BE PITCHED OUT TO A RECEPTACLE AND AN OUTGOING MAIL BAG WOULD BE STRETCHED IN A FRAME BY THE TRACKS IN SUCH A WAY THE TRAIN WHEN ROARING THROUGH COULD EXTEND AN ARM AND SNATCH THE MAILBAG. EXCITING FOR A KID TO WATCH.

PEOPLE KNEW TO BE VERY CAUTIOUS BEFORE CROSSING TRACKS TO WATCH FOR AN ONCOMING TRAIN THAT WOULD NOT STOP.
FREIGHT TRAINS SELDOM STOPPED. THE ENGINEER AND CREW ALMOST ALWAYS RESPONDED WITH A FRIENDLY WAVE.

MY LAST TRAIN RIDES WERE ON TROOP TRAINS DURING WORLD WAR TWO. sam

ρομπερτ said...

Thank you for teaching me something I did not know before.
Oh yes, I love trains from very young. Last time inside from Athens to Thessaloniki, lasting more than ten hours, for sure a world of its own.

Lindie said...

2 memories come to mind when I think of trains. My mother's parents lived in Baden, Ontario where he taught. About a block from the rail road tracks. We would go down there and put pennies (Canadian) on the tracks and try to find them after the train went through. I kept one for years and just recently lost it. And the other time, 2 of my daughters and my first granddaughter went with me to a family reunion on Amtrak. From Kansas City to Los Angeles. An Indian joined us when we were going through the Huge Indian reservation and gave a talk in the club car and we were stopped by a forest fire right before we entered California. Oh and my 2 yr old G.D. favorite thing was using the potty on the lower level and seeing the train tracks rush by!