Today we celebrate my favorite holiday, National Train Day, which is observed this coming Saturday, May 9th. This year, however, Amtrak, our national passenger railroad, is expanding the hoopla to National Train DAYS, a series of them throughout the year to demonstrate "the importance, benefits, and value of train travel."
They've already sold me. I'm a train fan from way back. Here's a shot of the blogger on the platform at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. Or maybe it was Philly? Or Baltimore? I can't remember. It was a flashback scene, anyway. Actually, this isn't from "way back," it's from last year. I'm waiting for Cary Grant to bring my luggage. (Quick, what movie?)
Last year, you'll no doubt recall, I was a bit busy with my year-long blog series on Ann Blyth. More on the upcoming book in the next few weeks. For today, we take the train with Ann. The lead photo was from her first film, Chip Off the Old Block (1944), discussed here.
She met Donald O'Connor by accident, and immediately went out to the rear observation platform with him to sing. I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me.
Her next film, The Merry Monahans (1944), discussed as well in the above-linked post, also featured a meet cute where Donald strolls along the roof of the moving train, like a hobo, and later takes Ann up there with him for a little quiet conversation.
I can't even tell you how many times that's happened to me.
In the only movie I didn't cover in depth last year, Katie Did It (1951), Ann has a couple funny scenes on a train from New England to New York. She tries to avoid her co-star, Mark Stevens, but he has convinced the train conductor that Ann is his mentally disturbed wife and it would be safer for the rest of the passengers if he sat with her to keep her calm. Arguments, melees, and a pulling on the emergency cord which sends people flying into the aisle.
Rest assured, it'll be covered in the upcoming book ANN BLYTH: ACTRESS. SINGER. STAR.
Have a look here, meanwhile at Amtrak's TRAIN DAYS site, and next time you have a hankering to roam to the big city, or anyplace else that you can get to by train, for heaven's sake, TAKE THE TRAIN, the most economical and environmentally valuable way for most of us to crisscross this great nation of ours.