On Wednesday, I wrote on my BlogSpot about spending the day with my Granddaughter Hannah Yoder. We had a day out running errands and shopping. I think other than driving by the Connellsville Hospital where her daddy works, she enjoyed stopping near the train tracks and watching as two trains rolling by. The disappointment for me and her was there was no caboose at the end of the cars.
I have had a fascination for trains ever since I was young. In our beds at night, my brother and I could hear faraway train whistles when the rest of the world was still and quiet. The sound would waft through open windows accompanied by the summer breeze.
My next encounter with the railroad was in first grade. As a field trip, our class rode the school bus to the train station in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The locomotive was huge, black, and waiting for us to climb aboard the coaches that were coupled behind. It was just a short trip through mountains to Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, but it made a lasting impression. At the end of the trip, we were herded back onto the bus for the return trip to our classroom in Normalville, Pennsylvania.
Since then, I’ve collected model trains .027, HO, and N gauge, building model structures to match the size of the trains. They are still stored in my attic. I also have several books showing the different locomotives, but I am partial to the locomotives that were used during the Civil War for both the North and the South. A nephew sketched a locomotive belching smoke. I have it framed and hanging in the living room of my house.
Last year, a friend and I travelled to Elkins, West Virginia and ride the Salamander to the ghost town of Spruce. It was only a slight disappointment that the locomotive was a blue and gold diesel work engine and then when we arrived at Spruce, there were no buildings, only plaques describing the homes and businesses that once occupied the sites, but I did ride the train.
All of these memories were stirred by the time I spent with my granddaughter watching the train wheels clack and clank rolling by us. I hope the day will be an enjoyable memory for her as well.