I want to start this week by wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving, as we enter the “Holiday Season” my schedule has gotten very busy. I am proud to be a member of the Masons, the Shriner’s, as well as the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. Friday night I was so happy to be at a special banquet as the Broadcast Pioneers honored my friend Tom Lamaine with Man of the Year. Saturday I was on hand (ten to six PM) at LuLu Shrine in Plymouth Meeting for their great fundraiser “Feztival of Lights and Trees with Trains” I was happy to meet and greet over one thousand people who attended Saturday and to sing Christmas songs. Sunday I was in Hatboro for their 63rd annual Christmas Parade, again I was honored to add the color commentary for their TV taping. Boy Scout Troop 3 handled the video duties. I am continually impressed with the professional, organized handling of this great parade. From sponsorship to advertising, to lunch for everyone who works hard to assure another great event, I am fortunate to have two helping hands this year to help keep the parade information in correct order. Again as I drove into Hatboro, two hours prior to start, the entire length of York Road was lined with peoples chairs and blankets in anticipation of today’s parade. I must mention that WRDV Radio was also on hand for some live coverage ably handled by Connie Gayle. Later as I returned through Hatboro after singing at a tree lighting ceremony I was again amazed that things were cleaned up so you would never know there was a parade that day. Add the weekly “Visit to the Bear Cave”, a seminar, and singing at a birthday party, and it has been a long week.
So much in a week, but I observed one thing that stood out, Saturday as I was singing Christmas songs, the many people that came up on the stage to see the train layout something caught my eye and ear, one gentleman wearing a WWII hat say watching the trains going around. He sat quietly just watching, as he sat his family went and walked through the trees and vendors, they returned and standing close by I heard his daughter say “He’s been sitting there for an hour now, just watching a toy train go around in circles, I don’t get it.” I thought about this comment as I turned in that night, I think I understand; this man has seen a lot in his life, he fought in a world war, I can only imagine that as a young man he, like I would lay in bed at night and listen to the train whistle in the night and wonder, imagine where that train would take me. I never hopped a train or slept in a hobo camp, but I did get to travel and see a lot thanks to singing, acting, and wrestling, I can only imagine what this man saw as he probably boarded many trains; boot camp, to war, where I am sure more trains were waiting until he more than likely boarded one last train home where he thought of the friends he made that took another train home. There is something about a train that sparks the imagination of a young man and brings back memories to those of us that finally hopped that train, rocking back and forth while listening to the lonesome train whistle in the night, memories, some that get shared and some that will stay in their grip as they hop on board for one final trip.