Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Floyd and Sam, Your Conductors to the End

No, these men aren’t burying children, they’re building a railroad…for now. Don’t they know what railroads do? Don’t they know that all trains are capable of is buckling and derailment? Wait til they read the papers on March 4 to see what happened to Helen Gil. Here, an earthen roof will be put over this cut to make a tiny tunnel, where a tiny Taggart Transcontinental can…you know the rest.

How many budding Cherryl Brookses will leap from this bridge?

We here at 1947project know only danger and distress whilst bringing you danger and distress, so I took it upon myself to risk riding the Griffith Park “Choo”-“choo” and after making certain we weren’t carrying chlorine gas (though I wasn’t sure some of those kids didn’t have Sarin on them), I boarded, uncertain that there was to be no repeat of Nowy Dwor, 1949; there was not. I was still nervous, though. That whole Auschwitz thing has given me an aversion to mass transit.

Here we are in the Floyd & Sam’s tunnel. Thinking Salerno, 1944.

And crossing the bridge:

I thought of the train that plunged off just such a bridge into the Baghmati River, killing 500. The driver had braked to avoid hitting a cow. So here I was. Praying our driver wasn’t Hindu. (Actually, he and I stood around after and shot the bull about the B-24s that took off from Atwater, and the nearby Rancho stables, and his hopping on the Glendale Red Car to go see movies downtown as a child—you’d go to Broadway, I asked, heck no, he replied, you go to Main Street, and see movies at places where you sat on old crates.)

So that’s the tale of the Griffith Park Train. One last note. I don’t know why, but rolling past these things made me think of some lonely children’s cemetery.

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