“Thanks for the Memories”
The above was the theme for entertainer Bob Hope. His orchestra, Les Brown and His Band of Renown, played the theme at the end of any TV show Bob did.
And so this Wednesday morning, I am back at the Congress Plaza Hotel in downtown Chicago getting ready to take a Lyft to O’Hare International Airport and head back to Hartford and thinking of my recent memories.
I made a lot new friends, all of us being railfans. Some bringing knowledge of working in the railroad industry. Others talking about previous rail journeys.
And also helping out these new friends at times. Some of them were Joan and her husband Charlie. On a number of occasions, Charlie would have his camcorder running as he filmed long portions of our trip as the trains traversed the countryside. Joan, on the other hand, has named me her hero; well, in my perspective, a co-hero. Seems Joan dropped her credit card down a crack in the boarded sidewalk at Old Town Sacramento. One of our tour guides, Hannah, was trying to grab the card with stick-um tape at the end of 2 chopsticks. My friend Scott and I tried to help. Next thing we know, one of the store owners came out with a portable power drill. He tried to get the screws out of the boards after one of Sacramento’s maintenance crews said they could not get the card due to the age of the screws that held the boards in place. When the owner came out with a box of screwdriver bits, I grabbed the drill, found the right size bit, and with Scott running the drill and me adding downward pressure, we managed to get half of the screws removed so that I could raise the plank and Hannah then scooped down to grab the card. Joan was beyond being delighted and Charlie then made sure that the all of their credit cards were in a secured place. Just another day in paradise. And a cold beer that night for my reward.
Anyway, I close this blog by saying thank you to Hannah, Shawn and John from Special Interest Tours for being our tour wranglers and taking great care of us. Thanks to William and Rafael, aka Butch and Sundance, for driving our chartered Trailways coach buses for part of our journey. Thanks to bartender Don and Altaplano Rail’s Adam and his chef Malia and their wait crew for taking care of us aboard sleeping cars Cimarron River, Berlin, Pacific Union and Super Dome car #53.
And thanks to all of you for reading and traveling along with me. See on the rails someday soon. And as always, have a safe ride whenever you ride the rails.
I’m Philip J Zocco. On The Road. In Chicago, Illinois.