Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Saturday Morning in Portland: Memories of a Train Wreck

As long as I can remember, which is not much before this particular Kodak shot of yours truly was shot, we had an American Flyer sorta starter train set. It had an engine of the day--one that was a model of what ran on coal and steam, not like today's Zephyrs. Some of our friends had big train sets with scenery, tunnels, switches, bells, and whistles. Not us, we had our American Flyer, an oval of track, and a piece of plywood in a storage area under the eaves of our house.

Back when I set my brake on a different roadster and lived out in the countryside, before I turned in a microscope for a gumshoe's private ticket, I had the train packed in a box, under the eaves in a garage. It had quit running a long time before--in fact, I think it went in the box during a big move back when Ike was still running the show and no one looked at you the least bit funny if you fired a Lucky and an expecting chiquita took a drink. But anyway, the train was in a box in the garage.

Well, one thing led to another and wouldn't you know it, I made the acquaintance of Lili, then Mittsy--it was before they were an item--and eventually, when it was time to move on and live closer to where trouble hung around, I sold my house to Lili. She found the train and set it up on display on a beam in the open ceiling of the sitting room. Years past, Lili packed up and moved to Jersey and got into the drug business. Then she put all her whatevers in storage and moved to Sherman-town to hook up with Mittsy.

Well now, this last year, Mittsy and Lili got the Horace Greely itch and moved to The Valley where Mittsy's writing code for the government--you know, fighting the war on whatever. Lili's now dong time with the state in Capital City and so they bought a place to set their brake which is how it is that Dolly-girl was lifting this and that and helping out. I walked downstairs when I heard her come in the door and lo' and behold, there was the train, looking like it'd run from New York, to Jersey, to The Valley, and finally, into Union Station in Stumptown where it's going into retirement.

1 comment:

Karen said...

that is a very cool story and I love looking at your pictures of the past. Cute kid. :-)