THE IRON HORSE OLD FOLKS HOME by Vincent Dow*Posted: October 25, 2009
THE IRON HORSE OLD FOLKS HOME
Some miles south of the town where we live,
Through old burghs and new suburbs plain,
An assortment of family and choicest of friends,
Drove doggedly onward through rain.
The day was chosen far in advance
To attend each one would oblige,
And despite some car trouble on the way out of town,
My own gang managed t’arrive.
We walked towards the building named Angus,
Not sure what it offered in gains,
Just dropping in on acquaintances ancient,
T’was our day to go visit the trains.
A group of steel hangars comprised the museum,
It was built on an old railroad side,
On the grounds some rusty hulks ‘waited renewal,
The good stuff was surely inside.
Sheltered in barns from cold Autumn drizzle,
The image I seized on, of course,
Was a gentle equestrian farm o’retirement,
Where they stabled the great iron-horse.
We walked along those still machines
Each one carried off to such times,
When arrival back home from a long, lonely trip,
Was announced by an engine bell’s chimes.
The passenger wagons did stir my nostalgia,
With their scent of old wicker and grease,
Canadian soldiers would ride off to Europe,
With their task to turn war into peace.
A line of old streetcars from Montreal-town,
Made me think of Grand-père Latrémoille
For to work his old job – the conductor’s position,
Would bring to me nothing but joy.
A warm Summer evening by an open tram window,
Was great for those seated inside,
I seem to remember myself in that setting,
Once ‘pon an old streetcar ride.
I sat in the cab of a mighty steam engine,
And imagined down lines which it hurled,
With a hand on the throttle and a wave to some kids,
What a great way to take in the world!
These great locomotives told stories of power,
Into memory each of us did delve,
For myself it was orange-fronted boxcab electrics
From the year nineteen-hundred and twelve.
Through Mount Royal tunnel with its creosote smell,
The commuters would ride up and down,
And though not the most famous or elegant trains,
They went to my Grandmother’s town.
As the visit adjourned and we talked about dinner,
Walking back to the cars which we drove,
I think we all wished we could ride a train wagon,
That was warmed by a cast-iron stove.
Oct 24 1873 was Arthur L.’s birthday – Bonne Anniversaire grandpapa.