Smoke & Cinders (1st Quarter 2018) – It All Started with A Birthday Party
It All Started with A Birthday Party
And, my wife is still mad at herself. I can’t help but laugh as I sit here and remember the details. On August 26, 2000, my wife and I were over in East Ridge shopping, and she became sick and needed to go home ASAP. On our way to Harrison, as we pulled off at the Jersey Pike exit, she asked me to make a left turn rather than the normal right. Against my concern for her health, she then directed me over to TVRM at Grand Junction. “OK, what’s the deal?” I ask. She reminded me of a conversation we had where I mentioned I was getting to the age where there are some things I will just never get the opportunity to do. “Like what?” she says. “Well I always wanted to drive a locomotive.” So, here we are at TVRM, and she says she is granting my wish as she hands me a hickory-striped engineer’s hat. Wow, this is great! I board the train and I’m whisked over to East Chattanooga where Mike Little Sr. and the Alco RSD-1, #8669 locomotive is waiting for me. We board, go through the basics, and off we head back to Grand Junction with me as the “engineer”.