We’ve had a pretty good Father’s Day! I got to talk with my parents on Skype, and then we went over to Brad’s parents’ house for dinner. I am feeling much better today!
To celebrate Father’s Day, I have uploaded a picture of my dad, my sister, and me on the subway in NYC from around 1984–85.
I will now tell you the story of my absolute favorite ride on the subway ever.
It all started when my dad was a little boy in NYC and used the subways every day to get around. He developed a fascination about trains, which he passed on to me and (to a smaller degree) my sister. My favorite book is Uptown Downtown by Stan Fischler. It has been updated and re-released but I cannot remember the title of the new version. I just picture that old hardback book with a drawing like an NYC subway station and the big words UPTOWN DOWNTOWN.
Now another strange thing about my dad and me is that in addition to loving trains, we also love train crashes. This book is the history of the NYC subway system, including every major crash. Not only are the crashes themselves interesting, Stan Fischler writes in a very very funny style. In 5th grade I wrote a book report on this book, and it was the first and only 100% I ever got in English class!
Every time we went back to NYC to see my dad’s family, we would ride the subway around town. One day, my dad and I decided to bring the Uptown Downtown book with us on the subway. We visited sites of major crashes, and stood at the very front of the train looking out the front window. As we sped down the tracks, my dad would read the story about that particular accident out loud! It was GREAT! Of course my mom and sister were dying in embarrassment in the back of that train car pretending they didn’t know us LOL!
One of my favorite crashes was Malbone Street, which had to change its name because of the horrors associated with that particular crash. That crash involves speeding out of control down a hill and then crashing in a sharp S turn in a tunnel. We acted out the thoughts and actions of the people riding the train, and then when it got to that famous S turn, we realized that had changed the tracks so trains no longer had to do an S turn there. But the old S turn tracks were still there. I think we went back and forth on that line like 4 or 5 times until we had gotten our fill of seeing it!
I believe we might have ended up that day at Coney Island, or maybe I am remembering another trip to NYC. But Coney Island, a Nathan’s hotdog, and the Cyclone rollercoaster were always a great choice for our family.
Maybe I should order the updated version of that book sometime, so I can re-read it. We would sit around the kitchen table and laugh out loud while trying to read the book out loud to each other. To be fair, we did this for a lot of things, but especially train crashes. My dad and I have been known to spend an entire afternoon looking up train crashes on youtube and discussing them.
Happy Father’s Day!