Friday, May 15, 2015
GRANDMOTHER OLIVE TALKS ABOUT AMTRAK
Since the Amtrak accident people have asked Albert and I if we would go on it again. Of course, we would. We have seen buggy accidents, but we still use a horse and buggy. We have seen automobile accidents and we still have drivers take us places. What we don't know is all the Amtrak trains that make the trips every day and don't have accidents. We always hear about the ones that have accidents.
What concerned Albert and I was our Porter. When we came from Florida, we are on the same train that had the accident. We take the train into New York. Our Amtrak goes from Florida into Washington, DC through Philadelphia where the train wreck was and on into New York City where we switch trains and head to Rochester. Anyway we had the same Porter coming home as we had going down.
The younger Porter that was with him on our way to Florida is now training on another Amtrak train. So our Porter was taking care of our sleeping section alone this time. He knew us as soon as we got on and took us directly to the sleeper room. I said I guess he remembered me - and he said yes. It was the one the Porter gave us on the way down when I didn't like the other one. Just the room we wanted. He said reservations helped.
He gave all of us in the sleeping section excellent service. On the way up north Albert was tired at dinner time and wasn't going to dinner. I wouldn't go without him. When we didn't show for dinner, our Porter asked us why. When we explained way - he came back with a menu, took our order and brought our dinners to our room. He waited until he was sure we were done - took back our dishes and cleaned the table.
Albert and I took a nap, which we shouldn't have done, because when it came sleeping time we were wide awake. We were taking a walk through the train kind of late at night and we ran into the Porter. He said we asked him if he wanted to pray with us on the trip down, but he couldn't. All were bed down and if we wanted to pray, he could join us. So we went back to our room. We read the Bible. He gave us his favorite quotes. We prayed. We softly sang - he had a beautiful voice.
Finally Albert said to him that something was bothering him. He said no at first. But Albert insisted that he did. So he told us his problem. His first wife had passed away almost 20 years ago. So he and his Mother had raised his children who are grown up and married now. He met a lady and after going together for five years, they married last December. We thought maybe the problem was because he is black skin and she is white skin, but that wasn't it. She understood that he would be gone and working on the train. He would be home regularly, but would keep his job. She agreed.
Now that they are married, she misses him and would like him to find another job. If he retires at 62 he has 6 more years to go. If he waits until 65 - that is nine years. He could retire, but if he does, they won't give him his retirement until he is 62. Of course you never get at 62 what you would at 65. The only job he knows is being Porter on the train. He has done that for over 30 years.
Albert said this was his only paying work, but had he ever done any other work. Porter said he started picking cotton. He also sang at local bars, when he was young, but that was before he knew the Lord. When he was at home, he regularly sang at church. He also filled in for the minister when he was on vacation, ill or at a conference.
We prayed and then Albert said he was going to give him some fatherly advice. Pray, pray, pray. Don't leave the train job until he was sure he another one. Maybe he could get a job helping in a church. .Maybe he could get a job working in a motel or hotel as he has a lot of experience cleaning, and working with people regarding their rooms. Maybe work in a restaurant, but Porter didn't care for restaurant work. Albert told him to sit down and write down all the jobs he could do. But, don't quit before he had a job. Jobs are hard to find today. We said a final prayer and sung a song. Before we left we both gave him a hug and he gave us one.
So when we heard of the Amtrak accident we worried about our Porter being on there. We had his name so we waited and called Amtrak the next day. His name was not on the list of people on that train. They asked us to leave our names and numbers before they told us he wasn't on the list. What surprised us is a few hours later, we got a call from our Porter. One of the fellows that worked at Amtrak called him and told him we had called. He thanked us for his concern. Right now he was in Florida. Would be going back to work next week.
We are thinking of going on a trip on Amtrak this summer. Porter said to let him know when we are going and what train. Which led Albert to ask if Porter had ever had his wife on a trip on the train when he was working so they could be together. Porter has to check and see if that is allowed. He gave us his phone number and , of course, he has ours.
He told us not to worry just because of this accident. So many trains go every day and nothing like this happens. We noticed that the back end of the train didn't tip over, in the paper. Had we been on the train, that is where would have been in the back.
Jean came in and I told her I was giving Marilyn a post. Jean said she forgot. Usually they do these posts a few days ahead. Jean had been so busy in her garden and plants, she forgot.
Be With God,