Excitement in the Roth-Gates household: Kris testified this morning at the inquest for the Serey-Perez shooting, which has been the big news story around Portland this past month. She was nervous, but thought things went well.
Kris’ sister, Tiffany, is in town for a few days. After I picked her up from the airport yesterday afternoon, we had some time to kill before picking Kris up from the Crime Lab, so Tiff let me stop at Future Dreams to look at comics. I found some old issues of Action Girl, and picked up the latest black-and-white compilations of Daredevil and Tomb of Dracula.
We killed the rest of the time by winding our way across Portland. At one point, we drove past Union Station, Portland’s train depot. “I’ve never been on a train,” Tiffany said. I told her that I made at least one trip when I was a boy. I’ve considered making others now that I’m adult, but I never remember that it’s an option. There’s something romantic about a train, you know?
Here are my train memories (and they’re few):
- I’m young — maybe five or six or seven. My family is at Union Station in Portland to pick up a relative. Grandpa? Mom’s brother? There are people all about, but the place is not full. I don’t know it at the time, but the place feels old-fashioned. Looking back, I remember high ceilings and shiny floors and architecture of the twenties or thirties or forties. I ought to be fascinated with the trains, like Jeff is, but I’m fascinated by the comic books instead. There’s a rack of them at a newsstand, and I look through the ones I can reach.
- I’m still young — am I in school yet? I’m down at Grandpa’s house. He’s babysitting me. We’re by ourselves. We drive to Canby and we stop at the train station where we wait for somebody to arrive. The Canby train station is nothing more than a platform, really, a wooden structure with a couple of benches and a ticket booth. I’m very excited to see the train.
- I’m in first grade. All of us in Mrs. Onion’s class are participating in a patriotic Bicentennial pageant. We boys wear powdered wigs and march in circles singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. We learn about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. One day Dad takes us to see the Freedom Train. We park near the Oregon City Marina (why? — Mom, do you remember?) and wait to watch the train race by. Dad helps me place a penny on the track. After the train passes, I have a flattened piece of copper (or zinc, as the case may be) that I treasure for years.
- I’m in second grade. Mrs. Vogeltanz is taking the class on a field trip to the State Capitol building in Salem. We don’t take the bus. We four blocks from Eccles school to the train platform. We get on the train and we ride to Salem. It’s very exciting, especially for the boys. We look out the windows, watch the fields go by. We disembark just a couple of blocks from the capitol. I don’t remember anything else about the field trip other than we got to ride the train home, too. A field trip on a train, not on a bus.
That’s it. I have four memories of the train. Yet, like the children I know now (especially Antonio), I romanticize the train. I always think to myself that someday I will ride it again. Kris and I have discussed taking the train to see a Mariners game, but we’ve always rejected the idea as too expensive. I’ve considered a train trip to Minneapolis to see Dana, but I’ve never explored the cost or time. What if we took a train trip to see Kris’ family?
I want to love the train, to have more memories of it, but I probably never will.
On 30 April 2004 (12:41 PM),
On 30 April 2004 (12:59 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:
On 30 April 2004 (01:02 PM),
On 30 April 2004 (02:06 PM),
On 30 April 2004 (03:06 PM),
On 30 April 2004 (04:41 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:
On 30 April 2004 (04:55 PM),
Andrew Parker said:
On 01 May 2004 (09:26 AM),
On 01 May 2004 (02:49 PM),