When I was little, I used to love trains.
To get to my Granny's house, you had to pass over train tracks. And my Granny (who thought I could do no wrong, mind you) knew of my love of trains. So, she called the rail companies to find out what time the train would pass by her railroad crossing so she could take me up to see the train. According to the story, she called a couple of times, causing the rail company to freak out a bit and have extra security on the train when it passed by.
Close to thirty plus years later, we have another train enthusiast in the family--my nephew. He loves trains and he spends hours playing "tracks" with his own model train sets. He really likes it when I get to come over and help him assemble the various pieces into a super cool train set layout.
He also loves Thomas the Tank Engine. A few weeks ago, I saw a sign at the Y saying Thomas would be in town for two weekends in September. I e-mailed my sister about it and she decided my nephew would love to go--and that Uncle Michael and he should go. She agreed to purchase our tickets and yesterday we headed to Nashville's Railway Museum for an afternoon with Thomas the Tank Engine.
And we did get to ride in a train, pulled by Thomas. We backed up from just off of downtown to LP Field and then back. I think my nephew had visions of Thomas going a bit faster because at one point he asked me why Thomas was going slow. The ride there and back took about 25 minutes, which was the best part of the day. And why do you ask? Because that part of the trip was air-conditioned.
My nephew had a great time on the train. He also had a great time hearing stories about Thomas, visiting the petting zoo and playing in the Thomas
play area. And, of course, he got several items to commemorate his ride on Thomas.
I'll admit that after the first ten minutes, the Thomas music playing on the train got to be a bit much, but watching my nephew have so much fun, it really didn't bother me that much. We had a great afternoon out on the trains. And he was made an official engineer for Thomas (he's holding his certificate in the picture) so in case Thomas needed an emergency conductor, he can step in and run Thomas.
I know he may not remember the afternoon when he's older in the way I can't recall much about the infamous trip to see the train with my Granny. But what I do know is how much my Granny (and the rest of my family for that matter) loved and loves me. And I am sure as he grows up and looks back on these pictures of the day, that the story of Uncle Michael and his nephew going to see Thomas will continue to grow and live on, letting him know he's loved and that his Uncle Michael would do anything for him. Just the same way I knew my Granny would do anything for me.
Of course, the only big downside...his sister was none too happy about her brother getting to have a big adventure with her uncle without her.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/03/2007 03:17:00 PM