Harry at breakfast, Thursday morning
Harry had the roomette across the hall from mine, while his wife used the family room on the lower level. We talked about the estimated arrival in Los Angeles now that we were rolling again after a delay of some 30 hours. Never did get to his story other than they were returning home located near Burbank.
Refueling at Tucson, Arizona, Thursday morning, February 9, 2012
With Nica at dinner on Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Nica’s home is in Boston and she travelled by train to Florida to visit a cousin, than on to New Orleans to look up another cousin, and is now on her way to catch the Coast Starlight in Los Angeles for a trip to Portland, OR for a conference. Then she will return home by train! Talk about “training time!”
I quizzed Nica Thursday durning our stop in Maricopa, AZ, how is it for a woman travelling alone, and Nica reported no problems. Like me, she is marking a significant birthday, (in her case, 51) with a grand train journey. She considers travelling by train to be a retreat, just as I do.
Having the sleeping car room is essential of course. It’s like a monk’s cell, I imagine, and I can sit for hours watching the land and small towns go by with a surprisingly empty mind that allows thoughts to come and go, like the view out the window.
Wayne and Joyce from Chaska, Minnesota
Wayne is ready with the answer when I ask him about the suspenders, and it’s not any where near what I expected. He is using the wide, comfortable suspenders to hold up a colostomy bag — the result of three operations for colon cancer. At one point, not sure of the timing, he was told to arrange hospice care! Didn’t need it. Since then he has stopped chemo treatments. Both he and Joyce are following a diet based on blood type — this, they say, is the reason Wayne is still alve, and on a train trip today.
And yes, Wayne did work as a carpenter.
Segment 5: Aborted
There will be no getting off the train at Alpine in order to visit Marfa since the train is leaving San Antonio at 1p on Wednesday, which means stopping at Alpine sometime in the middle of night … so decided to stay on the train to LA.
Richard and Kathy at lunch Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Kathy’s husband is coming from Del Rio to pick her up, it’s about three hours away. They moved to Del Rio, Texas, from the Seattle area some dozen years ago and would love to return to the northwest.
Richard had a cochlear implant 13 years ago on the Veteran’s Administration’s dime due to a service related injury and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He worked for TWA as a mechanic, wearing hearing aids, until it was sold. His wife died three years ago and his current goal is to travel on every Amtrak route — seems I didn’t ask how he was doing with that goal.
My excuse is that I was totally absorbed in his story of his brother who was a high ranking member of the German American Bund organization that promoted a favorable view of Nazi Germany. Richard remembers his German born father taking both of the boys to rallys in the late 30s in the Brooklyn area — the banners, flags and crowds made quite an impression on Richard. But for his brother it resulted in a call to action. He was eventually arrested for acts of sabotage and given the opportunity to turn counter spy that he accepted and went on to help expose the east coast operation.
A totally charming and friendly man, celebrating 81 years. I send out wishes for safe travels to Richard.