My wife Denise and I are are about to celebrate 26 years together and 25 years married with in three days of each other on April 25th and April 28th. To do this here in 2015, we are taking a trip together starting today that will include lots of great rail-fan activity. What’s even better is, rail stuff is not “her thing” but she does enjoy a good train excursion ride like we did on the Branson Scenic Railway in July, 2014. So, as she began to check into things for us t do, she immediately looked up several rail related activities that she could do with me-primarily for me, along with some cave and other nature activities for her interests.
The first one on our agenda that I have briefly touched on in previous posts is taking the “Murder On The Petulant Express” Mystery Dinner Train ride with the St Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway. http://www.slimrr.com/ . Here are some You Tube videos from them that I found
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love history and this train ride is so much more than just that for me. It has become a wonderful history lesson. Once I knew we would be taking the “Murder On The Petulant Express” ride and that it is set in the 1930’s, I began to study the period and found that is was such a pivotal time in history with our nation in the heat of the depression, President Roosevelt initiating “The New Deal“, and as a welcome distraction during those times, what I as also a classic movie, music and radio fan consider to be the greatest movies and what we now know as Old Time Radio shows, many featuring my favorite actors, came out of that period. And, just like modern day films, there were books that came out first, that later became the inspiration for those movies, by the same titles. Names like John Steinbeck‘s The Grapes Of Wrath, Margaret Mitchell‘s Gone With The Wind, many Agatha Christie titles including Murder On The Orient Express, Joseph Kesserling‘s Arsenic & Old Lace, and Charles Bernard Nordhoff‘s Mutiny On The Bounty. Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You, Richard Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley. The beginnings of the Little House On The Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.
There were radio shows like The Lone Ranger, Superman, Fibber, Mcgee & Molly, Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, The Voice Of Bugle-Ann, Mr Deeds Goes To Town, and Angels With Dirty Faces. My Man Godfrey, and the list goes on…. President Roosevelt even created a theater program as part of “The New Deal“. Some of the same stars that appeared in the movies and on Old Time Radio comedies and dramas, were also the ones whose voices brought musical entertainment as well. Like Judy Garland, Kate Smith, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Bob Hope, Gene Autry, and Frank Sinatra. Bands like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Harry James and Saturday Night Swings were all the rage.
Many of these groups, individual performers and radio shows were still in their prime during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. This is the era that my great friend and brother in the Lord John Christopher plays on his show (that if you haven’t checked out yet, you should) The Neon Beat http://www.radiogeorge.com/neonbeat/ . I am listening as I write this posting. Also check out The Neon Beat Fan Club on Facebook that I run. We have been shopping for 30’s period clothing for the ride.
But the 1930’s were not only a great era for social and economic reform and entertainment. The St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern is pulled by a former Pennsylvania Railroad Streamliner and the 30’s were the glory days for the streamliners.
The first one is from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad that my paternal grandfather and one of his brothers worked for.
I also seem to keep having run-ins with things from the 1930’s. I watch Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers a lot and more often than not these last couple weeks, have been running across items from the 1930’s. Including this recent episode of Antiques Roadshow in Birmingham that even featured my Facebook friend Julie Hedgepeth Williams http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/201403A25.html . Julie has two family members that survived the Titanic that she has written an award winning book about A Rare Titanic Family https://sites.google.com/site/raretitanicfamily/ . The Roadshow episode featured a depression era WPA Poster.
Then, as our daughter had a recent extra credit project that required us taking a trip down to Kansas City’s Loose Park, where my wife and I said “I Do” in the Rose Garden 25 years ago, something caught my eye that had not before. This. Look at the date.
Ironically enough, my mother, who passed in March of 2012, but was at my wedding at this site, has the maiden name of Smith. Who knows?
Next came an early anniversary present my wife got me of some railroad collector plates. One was from the CB&Q Railroad.
She got me three of them from our local Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store http://www.redracksthriftstores.com/wordpress/ on Tuesday, but told me there were more and that they would be having a 50% off sale starting at 7am on Wednesday, so I would have to make the sacrifice of getting up at 6am on my first vacation day. It wasn’t a problem. One of the ones I picked up (even got a duplicate of to eventually donate along with other items to the Cathy Kline Art Gallery where the Legacies On The Rails Art Show is to be held Saturday August 1st from 6-8pm at 8701 NW River Park Dr in Parkville, Mo), was this one.
The Santa Fe “Super Chief” from 1937. I am not a believer in coincidence but rather that God puts us in “the right place…at the right time”. I feel that not only about the train ride on Saturday, but my marriage to Denise, our family, and certainly about this whole thing of my having become a growing rail-fan these last several years and everywhere that journey has taken me. Other than maybe my love of our Kansas City Royals who I also collect things related to, love going to watching and listening to games and who I blog about at https://loshmansportslive.wordpress.com/ this feels more like where I belong, I think because of the rich family history I have in it than any other hobby or interest I have had,
Also on our trip will be visits to the Historic Railpark & Train Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who I have recently messaged and told of our impending visit
as well as the Tennessee Central Railway Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.
Overall, should be a great trip! I’ll take lots of pics and video to share with all my followers on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Flipboard,Twitter and here on the blog! Was going to share my videos from this week but though they are uploaded, they didn’t show up when I brought up You-Tube, but I will next time!
As always, here is a railroad action and music compilation for you to finish up this session!
I’m John Losh-reminding you to continue leaving Legacies……On The Rails!