My truck was at the mechanic, which was about a mile from the train station, not a bad walk at all. It was pouring, and I had foolishly turned down a ride from a friend on the train, thinking my rain jacket and hat would be enough. Man, was I wrong. As I stepped from the train, the heavens opened and I made a mad dash for the shelter.
View from the Train
I recently met some old grammar school friends in Jim Thorpe, PA for a tour of the town and a possible rail trip along the scenic Lehigh Gorge. Our friend “Pocono Bob” lives there, and warned us the town may be busy. Busy was not the word for it; the town was packed.
As I was walking up from the train in Penn Station, I was greeted by conductor Mike from one of my evening trains.
Oh what a sight, oh what a thrill, the shouts of joy, the jubilation of the moment, the beauty of the bride!
Bang! Boom! Smash! The loud racket at the front of the train car broke the tranquility of my staring peacefully out the window. It seemed that one of the duffel bags had rolled off the overhead rack, landing on the head of its owner and his three companions.
Their noses leave a ghost impression as they press against the window of the train. Others scurry across the aisle to catch a glimpse, if only for a fleeting moment. The “oohs and ahha” bring a grin to this jaded face of mine, but I enjoy the scene before me none the less.
Relentless spring, we are joyful in your persistence as you battled for your time on earth over dreaded winter. You arrived early, over a month ago. The arctic beast still had its claws in deep, refusing to yield. Still you marched on against the interminable Old Man Winter.
The “Rite of Spring” is a ballet by Stravinsky, but on the Port Jervis train, the rite of spring refers to opening day of trout season here in New York. Much like the original performance of the ballet in Paris, there are near riots near the popular fishing holes of the streams in the Upper Delaware Valley.
Winter nights are understandably cold, sometimes even bitter cold. Yet on those bitter-cold nights when the sky is clear, the universe opens up to us in its glory.
We all know those people who are always washing their hands and then use a paper towel to open the door. They will wear gloves on the train even in the summer—or the occasional surgical mask. They may be germaphobes, but with this flu season in full swing they may be the smart ones.