A Picture Story from Portrait of Words
He had taken the bus from Neenah to Laona, Wisconsin just to ride a genuine steam engine. There weren’t many of those left. This one operated from a fancy station and was called the Lumberjack Special. It hauled people ten miles to a museum filled with memories of the day when logging was king.
For a long time he just stood and looked at that magnificent black beauty. He watched the smoke and listened to the sounds that only a steam engine makes.
But then the special moment came. He climbed up into the cab. Today he would drive this wonder. Today he would fulfill his dreams.
Some people dreamed of riding in rotating restaurants high in the sky. Some people dreamed of being in a submarine deep in the ocean.
He dreamed of being the engineer as the train rattled over one railroad bridge after another. It was going to be heaven.
His friend , who worked for the society that kept up this railroad had made the arrangements. In return he made a nice contribution to the society. It all worked out. He got to be the Engineer and they got to pay the bills.
Then he started the train in motion. None of the paying passengers knew they had a rank amateur at the controls. That was fine. His friend sat next to him to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes but he had prepared long and hard for this day.
As they left the station he blew the whistle. A little bunny standing by the track had heard it so many times it didn’t even jump.
Too soon they reached the old logging camp and his moment of glory was over. But he would remember it forever. He knew that as he drove the school bus, his regular job, he would pretend it was the engine all black and shiny. The kids would never know what they were riding in.
- ▼ August (16)