Tuesday, March 3, 2015

If You Love Trains...

My father has always told me stories of growing up during the Great Depression, when abject poverty ruled the lives of he and his family, and a great deal of America.  His father was a WWI veteran, a share-cropper, and he raised his family working in West Texas and on the "high plains" of North Texas.  My dad told me he watched the trains come and go, and that the "hobos" he saw riding them seemed to have a wonderful life.  They appeared to be escaping the poverty and want that was so much a part of his childhood.  He kidded me as a child, that his real life's ambition had always been to become a hobo and "ride the rails" across our great nation.  He loves to travel to this day, and saw as much of the world as he could during his younger days.  Age has finally limited his and mother's adventures, but he still gets the itch every fall.  That is his favorite time of the year, and when I arrived in Germany in November, and I first began riding trains, I thought of him.  I have always been more like my dad than my mother, and I have found I love riding the trains of Germany.

My husband too has always been fascinated by trains.  During his childhood in the summers he spent time with his Aunt Eva in Kentucky, she was the wife of a Baptist minister, and she ran a boarding house.  There were no other children in the household, and being from a single mother family, Randy didn't have many toys.  The house where his Aunt lived was close enough to the railroad tracks that when he heard the train whistle, he had enough time to grab his small spiral notebook, and run for the crossing.  There he would write down the number on the engine, and the date and time that the train passed through the town.  He eventually developed a very reliable "train schedule."  After arriving in Germany, I found he still loves to check the train schedule, and ride from place to place.  I love watching his face transformed to that of a delighted little boy's as he checks the large bill boards at the train stations.  Trains are just such a romantic mode of travel!

If you too are enchanted with travel by rail, you will love the poem/song  post made on facebook by my high school choir teacher, Mr. Mel Harp, concerning the first train to arrive in my home town toward the end of the 1800's.  I was born in, and spent most of my life in Sweetwater, Texas. Since moving to Germany, Randy and I often ride the trains to where we are going.  It is just such an adventure to do so, and I love seeing the German countryside roll by.  The train system here is comfortable, clean, and easy to use.  This blog post is for all my readers who tell me they love the train stories and pictures, and especially for my sweet and adventurous husband who introduced me to riding the train.

The 134th anniversary of the first Texas and Pacific Railroad train arriving in my home town of Sweetwater, Texas will be on March 12, 2015.  A poem which is also a long song was posted on facebook, as I said, by my high school choir teacher.  I think I remember Mel Harp being asked when I was his student what his favorite music was, and I seem to recall him mentioning "Blue Grass."  The following poem/song, certainly falls within the genre, word wise, of Blue Grass.  Blue Grass is also my favorite type of music.  I wish I could hear this poem in a musical performance, I know it would be best enjoyed in the music form.  Since I don't have access to that performance, I have included a link to a very famous old "train song," played at the Coushatte Recreation Ranch during one of their monthly free Blue Grass concerts.  This wonderful RV park is only a couple of miles from our home in Texas.  They have an awesome major event each October at the Ranch, with major groups in attendance.  All you Blue Grass fans would love it, and I guarantee there are always "train songs!"