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Showing posts from December, 2018

Ghosts of Christmas Eve

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Though lodged deep in the Southern States, in my minds eye, I see snows flying and Christmas lights twinkling from times long ago.  Strange that there are times and places that stick with a man, sometimes seemingly without choice.  Many are small things that become unforgettable, treasured, and ghostly in their vivid details that remain so fresh.  
Christmas Eve, 1986: NPR was reading Forsythe's 'The Shepherd' which left an indelible impression upon me.  The blue lights of the old Kenwood Receiver are clear as day in my mind just like the small Christmas tree in a rental house - now thousands of miles away and decades past.  The walls of the house were trimmed in rustic wood paneling, the carpet grey with a hard knit pile that was unforgiving to those who scurried over it on all fours.  Electric wallboard heaters lined the rooms with thermostats that seemed to either be 'on' or 'off.'  The next day would bring Christmas, but for me, it is the Eve that haun…

Like a Desert Wind

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Location:  Rocky Mountains.  1493 miles from Chicago's Union Station.  
Climbing now higher and approaching the Continental Divide the forgotten transcon ascends the grades that made full use of the Boxcab Helpers added in Three Forks.  Looping around and ever climbing, the miles click slowly by while time hastens, blown along like a desert wind.  With electric locomotives scrapped and wires pulled, and with new diesels called back to the Midwest "core railroad" this warrior would fall.  It would not muster its strength, it would not save its life.