Our whirlwind romance began, meeting Tim, my Union Pacific Man, at McDonald’s. My All American dream come true. After 34 years with Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific, he currently is an Afternoon Hostler in the Armourdale/ Kansas City, Kan., rail yard.
Our first day home from our honeymoon, in Tim’s former bachelor pad, which I’d barely made my own, we hadn’t worked out the kinks of newlywed life, and luggage still was not unpacked. Tim got his extra-board call to working in the 18th Street rail yard. He was already out the door, and called back to me, "Susan, I can’t leave 'til you move your car in the driveway." I threw on some clothes, grabbed the keys, and with our Scottish Terrier Angus, I jumped in the car!
I backed up, Tim pulled away like a man on a mission, "Moving America.," and I realized I was locked out without shoes, purse, glasses or house keys. Barefoot, I headed west to find "Mr. America" and the Union Pacific!
Finding "Railroad Yard Exit," I exited, and recognized that I was now on Railroad tracks, leading through a narrow tunnel under I-70, reminding me of Disney World’s "Mr. Toad’s’ Wild Ride." I found Tim’s car and parked. A vision of utter "Domestic bliss, carrying Angus, I hobbled barefoot over the gravel into the shanty, directly into "No Women’s Land." Across the dirty, dusty tile that hadn’t met a broom it liked in years, I tiptoed, blindly-squinting, right up behind Yardmaster Al Binkley Jr., who swiveled around, face turning to stone, gazing at the dread-locked Medusa I’d become. No denying I was in Kansas City, Kan., without my Ruby-Red Slippers or my "Wizard-Tim’s" magic Genie Garage door opener either! Al told me where I’d find my husband.
So, through the door to the Men’s Room Showers and Lockers, following Union Pacific affirmations, I bravely tiptoed through the gauntlet of Hickory Stripe, Carhartt, and Dickie’s, a sea of blue denim-wearing Tamers of the Iron Horse all. When Tim saw me, carrying Angus, come around that corner, truest blue eyes gleaming, his handsome face melted into a smile, kissing me and Angus: I knew I was HOME!
Tim’s Golden Band of Railroad Brothers applauded as he carried me over the Shanty’s threshold, Angus happily wagging his tail behind him. Then, Tim got a Move, and Angus and I watched him switching engines a while from the wildflower-strewn hillside overlooking the rail yard, realizing: I’m married to the railroad ‘all the Live-long Day and Night!
HAPPY 150TH Birthday, Union Pacific! Long May You Run!