Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Final Stretch – I hope

Rain Man
This has always been the worse part of the journey. Not because it comes at the end when your butt is so numb you can’t feel it, but because this run is notorious in its lateness. The only other time I made this journey, we left the Albany station about two hours late, rolled down the track about 10 miles and then came to a stop. On that day it was snowing and actually quite pretty. I remembered again that line from the James Taylor song – “the Berkshires seem dreamlike…” And, indeed they were – for about 15 minutes. After 45 it was not fun and I started to calculate just how late we would arrive in Boston and whether there would be any buses left for me to take to Portland.

On the way out here 11 days ago, you will recall we were over an hour late getting to Albany and had to back up twice to let freight come through.

This time I am prepared for a long and arduous final press to Boston. And now at 6:20 we are over an hour late, have already stopped twice and backed up once.

When I got on the train there was lots of chatter as people, apparently unfamiliar with this line, were excitedly waiting for the journey to begin. When we made the first unscheduled stop, I announce, “and so it begins.” Now, having been on this train for over two hours and having not made our first stop in Pittsfield, the mood is, shall we say, more subdued.

By the way, among those on today’s train is the real Rain Man and his brother. Rain Man only looks a little like Dustin Hoffman (same costume and mannerisms) but brother is definitely no Tom Cruise. The conversations are identical to the movie and I am wondering if I am seeing some of Dustin’s research in real life. Remember Rain Man would not take an airplane. I hope to God we don’t miss Jeopardy.

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