Dwight Watt Internet Article #21


#21 And a child shall lead them 3/1/1999

#21 And a child shall lead them

Today was a typical normal 1st of March in north Georgia in so many ways. The sun was shining, there was a slight nip of winter still in the air, but yet warmth of spring felt its way too. The March winds were trying to push their way in. People continued to go about their normal tasks barely noticing the normal items occurring around them, caught up in their adult ways to get through another day.

As usual in a town like this built on a major railroad line, that has trains blasting through town every hour or so with the loud whistle and the clanki-clandi-clank of the wheels, normally no one except the visitors even notice the train except when it is on the crossing in front of us and then only to notice how long it seems to take to pass through town.

But then it happened. A train that caught the attention of people. Yes it was longer than most trains through town, but then there were not the frowns about the train holding us up. It was not the normal freight train hauling pulpwood and new cars. It was a train of mainly passenger cars that caught their attention. Yes a passenger train is unusual in this age, but it wasn't just any passenger train.

As I drove through town following this train today, I saw children standing on the sidewalks watching it. Business people stepped out of their stores and watched the train pass by. But yet in reality it was only a long passenger train with some loaded flatbed trailers on the end of it. I assume it was headed for Atlanta and then back to Florida after a long season.

But what made people notice this train today and stand and admire and have a smile come to their face, like we were no longer facing today's trials, but looking like we were back in our childhood. What train could bring men in suits out on the sidewalk to watch a train, and not a train wreck.

It seemed to be the quietest train I have heard, but maybe it was because the crowd grew quiet hoping to see or hear their memories. It was not unusual in its total appearance. After all it had initials, BBBC, on the sides of its cars, although we are more used to CSX and CONRAIL here.

Each of us gazed and hope to see something that brought a smile to us in our childhood, a frown, a smile, gobs of makeup, a elephant, a tiger... yes it was the Barnum Bailey and Brothers Circus train passing through town today. And in each of us we once again realized that there is still a little innocent child in us and it brought a smile to our faces.

Dwight

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