Sharing too much of my loved ones lives isn’t something I feel comfortable blogging.
But … here’s a picture of my family taken at my sister Susan’s and my brother-in-law John’s wedding last September. Growing up I took solace in what I took to be the all too irrefutable fact we were a dysfunctional family. Now I take solace in the fact we’re all kooky enough that we function pretty darn well ;>
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Browder, I sure am sorry I got sick later that night and we didn’t get to see you the next day. I know it’s ridiculous of me to say that but how could I not feel it?
It’s funny, I never thought I’d get to see you in Etowah, but I did. I’ll never think of the Great Smokies and not think of you.
Finn Rheingold Neely, son of my sister Susan and her partner John was born one week ago. At the time he was 8 lbs, 13 oz and 22 inches long. Check out that full head of hair and blue eyes! Yippee!
Oh, you can’t see the blue eyes in this photo, but I hear they are mesmerizing. I get to meet him later this week due to the awfully sad reason that we’re gathering for my dearly beloved uncle’s memorial.
“The world is a terrible and beautiful place.” ~Kipling
On Wednesday at 3pm EST Amtrak will blow their whistle of all their trains. Such a synchronized event happens only once a decade and Wednesday’s will be in honor of my uncle, Earle Stanwood Bagley Jr.
Stan, my mother’s younger brother of 12 years, started working for Amtrak in 1974, not long after the nation’s rail line was created by the Rail Passenger Service Act to create a network of intercity trains. It was his first job after college and a two year stint in the Air Force. My uncle, who stayed in train operations his whole career, eventually becoming President of the North Eastern Corridor, Amtrak’s most heavily used and financially sound sector. He oversaw every train and station, including Penn Station in Y2K and 9-11, as well as the entire deployment of the Acela Express, the first and only high-speed tilting train line in the United States.
In 2002 when Amtrak was on the verge of imploding my uncle was asked by the Board to make his last contribution, by serving as CEO pro tem. He kept all trains running and Congress at bay for 9 months until a successor was found, at which time he retired.
There’s so much more I could say about my Uncle, but I’ll just sum it up with I’m going to miss him quite a bit.
I wish I could get myself near a Amtrak train tomorrow at 3pm EST, but it astounds me to think how many riders all over the United States will hear that whistle in his honor. Stan would have liked that.