The Railroad Tracks


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Memories | Posted on 23-10-2014

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As a kid, I spent summers in Missouri. Picking blackberries, roller skating, riding my bike, and (sometimes) causing mischief. One day, my friends and I walked along the railroad tracks and placed pennies on the rails. So they would be flattened and become our trophies. Proof that we had braved the tracks.

What if we derail the train? Nah. It could never happen.

Then we waited.

We waited a long time. We went in for lunch. Then back out to ride our bikes around the neighborhood in search of the ice cream truck. To buy popsicles. Because they were cheap. A quarter each.

With blue- and red-stained tongues, we returned to the tracks. To our delight, we discovered perfectly flattened pennies. So flat, that Abraham Lincoln’s face was gone.

Ooooh! Aaaah!

That night, the 10 o’clock news reported a train derailment that had occurred earlier that day.

Gasp! The pennies! The guilt!

I found out much later that the pennies did not derail the train. There had been a mechanical failure.

That summer, the hit song was Bad Girls by Donna Summer. Coincidence?

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Comments (2)

Funny thing is, I never heard about the possibility of trains being derailed by coins until I was in my 40’s. Good thing because I’d have the fear of God in me if I knew that back then!

I had to Google and sounds like a train is more easily derailed by a large rock or a cow.

So, better not place large rocks or cows by the tracks and I think you’ll be OK.

Stay safe!


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