Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 208. All Aboard!

My husband's birthday was Friday (today is Sunday) so here's a slightly belated birthday drawing for him.  He is a train fanatic.  Um, that's putting it mildly.  When I first met him, I thought he was the only one of his kind.  However, like the millions of private worlds in this big world, I soon found out there are all sorts of train freaks.  I've sat for hours at a place called "Blue Island" right outside of Chicago where all these photographers and audio recorders would sit around waiting for trains to pass.  Heavily crisscrossed with multiple tracks, it's a hot spot for choo-choo enthusiasts.  I've ridden historic trains in 100 degree heat that were supposed to be pleasure cruises until the air conditioning went out in some cars and everyone piled into ours after a 2-hour delay in the middle of nowhere land.  I know the difference between a covered wagon and a GP-30 (I prefer the looks of a covered wagon.)  I know the difference in sounds between a CSX train horn, a single trumpet, a multiple trumpet, and a clogged trumpet.  I'm even privy to the variation in horn sound due to a warped diaphragm.  I know how much air will really make a horn sing and that down in Alabama there's a guy called the "Horn Doctor" who'll fix up your ailing horn.

Who would ever think there are such things called "train blows" and "run-bys" and railroad museums and "Milwaukee Road" train conventions, oh my.

I've ridden in the cab of a covered wagon, sat in the "Big Boy" and road the Milwaukee Road 261 refurbished steam train.  One hundred percent authentic, I'm telling you, and I have the greased-stained purse to prove it.  I could tell you about our door bell which is a replica of a train horn or our scanner that picks up conversations between train engineer and train conductor, but you get the picture.

Who knew when I once took a train back from San Francisco to Illinois, it was only the beginning tunnel into a world I never knew existed, one complete with its own vocabulary, history, and yes, fanatics.  I hope you have your own world of joy out there.  Here's to K-man's.

Hey, hey--here's a picture the National Art Society just posted on FB--A rare photo of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali.  What do you know!

Rare photo of Salvador Dali & Walt Disney.

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