I was excited to hear about a movement to restore passenger service to Galion. I grew up on the East side of the tracks and the trains were a fascinating and much loved part of my life. This is one incident that happened when I was in fourth grade many years ago when our universes were safe.
I was in fourth grade at St. Joseph’s School when the Teaching Sisters of Notre Dame ran the school. It was near Halloween and the students had a tradition that we would dress up in our costumes and “trick or treat” the nun’s convent across the street from the school and “treat” them with canned goods from our homes. The mask I chose was the over the head gorilla, one of mom’s dresses, dad’s jacket, and scarf around my neck. I was thoroughly disguised. I took my sack of canned goods and walked to the convent. We rang the bell, (my first time in there), the cook took the canned goods, and the nuns began to identify the “spooks;” then it was my turn. Being inside the convent, seeing the cook, watching the nuns laugh (who knew they were people?) increased my shyness so I never spoke a word. I was genuinely surprised that the teachers (who knew everything) didn’t know me. It made me smile secretly under my gorilla mask I was finally asked to reveal myself, surprised everyone, the party ended and we all went home.
I walked my usual route home and of course there was a train slowing down for Galion. The dining car came and I could see the people in seated at their tables and did my usual musing “where are they going?” The ladies were dressed in their pretty hats and dresses and the men in their suits and ties and as they slowed and stopped. I came out of my reverie when I realized they were pointing at me and smiling and laughing I became aware of my “perfect” costume and stood mute and smiled behind my gorilla mask as I entertained the dining car people. Just another day across the tracks.
I know there are hundreds of passenger train stories from Galionites going to Cleveland shopping, to Columbus to and from college, etc. It was a wonderful time and it would be great to bring it back.
Marjorie L. Miller