Image Source: Waymarking.com
The Rock Island tracks are about a mile yonder, ‘cross the field. That’s the Kansas City to St. Louis line. I hear the whistle and dream of being on the train, heading toward the big city. Gee, I’d love to go see the sights one day.
I can’t see the tracks or trestle from the house, but I love walking toward them ‘cross the field in the afternoon with my dog, Betsy. I especially love it in the fall and winter, when the sun goes down so early and the crows fly all ‘cross the corn stalks when the whistle blows. Something about the sunset, the crows against the orange sky, the barren field, the snow crunching under my feet and seeing Betsy’s breath in the cold…it’s all like a picture in a museum.
I love summer nights best, though. We have a little Philco portable, and I take that outside and lie on the grass with Betsy. I spin the dial until I can get Harry Carey and Jack Buck calling the Cardinals games on KMOX. And I just lie there in the grass, feeling the dew, seeing the stars, hearing Musial batting and that train off in the distance. My Daddy says he’s gonna take us to Sportsman’s Park next summer for a Cards game. Can you imagine that? Me going to see Stan The Man in person!
There ain’t much to say of life here. Just a small town in the middle of nowhere. Times have been hard since the depression and the war, but my Daddy gets by doing odd jobs here and there, and sometimes he catches on at the mine for a spell. A lot of folk have had it pretty rough, though.
But every day that Rock Island train come through, heading for the big city. And every day Betsy and I walk the fields and see the crows fly as the whistle blows. I can’t see the train, but I know it’s there, and I dream of hopping aboard and riding to the end of the line.