Bonding with Dad over the Rails
Growing up, I didn't have the typical childhood experiences of playing little league or traditional sports. Instead, my dad and I shared a special relationship that revolved around music and trains. We played catch, but our real bonding occurred over our shared passion for locomotives. In 1989, I discovered a National Geographic documentary called "Love Those Trains," and it had me hooked. Living in New Haven, which was a hub of rail activity, allowed me to witness everything firsthand. Dad was my guide, taking me to train crossings, stations and showing me the ins and outs of that world.
During this time, VHS was also becoming popular, and my dad had one of the earliest camcorders. He often filmed at family parties, events and, you guessed it, crossings so I began to take my micro-cassette recorder to capture the audio. Recently, I stumbled upon wumzeke's channel on YouTube, a fellow railfan, which showcases old Amtrak footage. Watching some of those videos brought back fond memories of Dad and I experiencing the magic of trains together. The sound of the classic F40PH locomotive, Amfleet passenger cars and the horn had an indescribable majesty that still resonates with me today.