Saturday, December 15, 2007
I'm riding VIA Rail 641 and it's just pulling into Kingston station on the early morning run from Ottawa to Toronto. With the new track system and modern cars, they really don't go 'clickety-clack' any more. Sad...
As a child I traveled across Canada a few times by train with my family and have memories of swaying back and forth in a top bunk, sitting mesmerized with my nose pushed against the glass, a lurching stop after a drunk hit the emergency switch, seeing children waving ... and a very early memory of the partly frozen St. Lawrence River just below old Quebec City. Our dog traveled in the baggage car and I would stagger through vestibule after vestibule to get there to visit him (he was very appreciative).
Later in life I traveled a lot on trains when I wandered. Two special trips were the Acropolis Express from Athens to Austria (via Yugoslavia) and the Nairobi to Mombassa colonial era train in Kenya, which led to exotic beaches, spicy fragrances and a fine break from working in Sudan at the time.
This train has high-speed internet, so my nose is pressed against my email. Better sign off and have look outside. I lived in Kingston for the 10th grade year of my life and I'm hoping to see a girl named Susan waving at the train as it goes by. She was shy, I was shy. At a class party at the lake she swam to me under water, and pulled my face to hers for a long, wet (of course) kiss. She can't possibly be as old as me now, can she?
The constant sound of the train wheels (Clickety –clack) began to evoke a tune in his mind and by the end of the journey it had taken shape; he rushed off the train in a frantic search for the nearest piano to write down the notes in fear he might lose them. The song went on to become a hit. Dawson’s recordings from early beginnings in the late 1920s and early 1930s went on to sell over 12 million records just before the start of the Second World War.
There is something about train journeys and the nostalgic memories they evoke in us, as your post reminds us.
It makes me nostalgic.
I looked at taking the train
from Vancouver to Montreal,
it costs over $1,000.
I guess, considering it
takes 4 days, it's a bargain.
Susan will look the same in your eyes as you will in hers, just a few years later is all.