Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Just the art


Whoa-whoa, STOP! Lookit that background! (The train is 64R.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)

My brother and I visited Altoona, PA again to chase and photograph trains.
Rather than conjure a gigantic epistle about our foray, I’ll just fly all the art, and let the captions tell the story.
“Art” is an old newspaper term. It’s photographs, graphs, anything not words.
I’ll just say the weather was awful.
We couldn’t shoot on Allegheny Mountain. Up the mountain was into low-hanging clouds = fog.
It also was drizzling; no sun at all.
Our light was low. I was often down to 1/100th of a second – I shoot shutter priority. I need 1/500th or 1/1000th to stop an approaching train.


The whole reason we came — 12G descends The Slide atop Allegheny Mountain. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

“The Slide” is Pennsy’s ramp up to New Portage Railroad’s tunnel, which was slightly higher than the original Pennsy tunnel. The Slide is 2.28%.
Pennsy got New Portage Railroad, a state effort, when it failed.
What I need is morning sunlight. 2.28% is fairly steep — trains only operate downhill.


The last time the sun shone, shortly after Jack arrived Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)


Thursday afternoon in Cresson — helpers on 23Z. (Photo by BobbaLew.)




What we were up against — 64R pokes outta the gloom atop the mountain. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

We drove to The Slide near Gallitzin (“guh-LIT-zin”), where we got the gloom photo above.
It seemed the fog was flowing west-to-east, so we suspected the entire West Slope was socked in.
Back to Altoona below the fog.


“How come we always come here?” (11J.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)


“Let’s go up to Brickyard.” (66Z crosses Porta Road.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)

Brickyard Crossing is the only grade-crossing in Altoona. It’s actually Porta Road, but a brickyard was adjacent That brickyard is now closed, but railfans and the railroad still call it “Brickyard.”


“If it’s cloudy, Brickyard works.” (35A approaches Porta Road.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)


“If the sun is out, it doesn’t work; too backlit.” (35A gets help up The Hill.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)


66Z (a second time) passes Alto. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

“Alto” was the last remaining tower on the railroad; it’s ex-Pennsy.
It controlled movements in Altoona yard. Helpers get added to go up Allegheny Mountain. They also get taken off trains they helped descend.
“Alto” is now closed, and dispatching is done from Pittsburgh.


25V passes Alto up The Hill. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

We headed railroad-east, stopping at a walkup footbridge over the tracks east of Altoona’s Amtrak station; where i took the following picture.


Helpers pass Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

Railroad-east toward Tyrone, PA.


10G railroad-east of McFarlands Curve. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)


66Z a third time. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)


22W approaches Tyrone Station. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)


We finally found tiny Fostoria village, thanks to GoogleMap satellite-views. (Photo by BobbaLew.)


“Vote for Kenobi (as in Obi-Wan), our only hope.” (Photo by BobbaLew.)


Overheard at the Mighty Curve: “Happiness is love, peace, and Donald Trump.” (Photo by Jack Hughes.)

From Fostoria down to Lower Riggles Gap Road.


Amtrak’s 07T, its westbound Pennsylvanian, approaches Lower Riggles Gap road overpass. (Photo by BobbaLew.)


20Q approaches Lower Riggles Gap road overpass. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

—Chase complete, as I said even before my wife died: “Back to reality.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lenore


Lenore at the Mighty Mezz 13 years ago. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

“I write a blog; been doin’ it 10 years,” I said to Lenore Friend, with whom I worked at the Messenger Newspaper after my stroke.
“Yeah, I remember that,” she said. “You called me ‘Queenie.’”
“I remember that vaguely, but I’m 72 years old,” I said. “I don’t write like that any more.”
We were in the Canandaigua YMCA Exercise Gym. I just finished my workout, and she just began hers.
The Canandaigua Daily-Messenger still exists, but the Mighty Mezz I worked for is gone.
It was owned by the Ewing (“you-ing”) family during my tenure, and they had to sell after I retired.
I’ve said it before: best job I ever had.
My pay was a pittance, but sometimes it’s better to work for a great place.
We were a happy ship: snide remarks and sick jokes. I fit right in.
Beachballs flew around the newsroom, and nerf-balls bombarded the office television when “Teletubbies” came on.
I started after my stroke as an unpaid intern, but soon was employed.
They had the moxie to allow me to try things which contributed to my recovery.
During my time there the newspaper switched to computer generation of pages, and I reveled in it.
I always say what remained of my brain after my stroke took off, and they encouraged it.
My official job title was “typist,” but I never typed anything. I figured out computer-tricks with Microsoft Word®, among other software. I generated reams of copy that might blow an entire page.
Like school honor-rolls or wealth management columns. Once we got contributors to e-mail — and that was a struggle — I could process with Word and have ready to publish in a day or two.
My wife and I developed a way of doing our stockbox in five minutes instead of two hours.
Editors were amazed by some of my tricks.
“No way can you do that stockbox in five minutes!”
“Can too,”
I said.
A stroke rehab counselor visited to suggest he could get my job back driving bus.
I refused.
My biggest fan was our Executive Editor.
He eventually left when ownership changed to become head public-relations honcho at a nearby community college. He hired away Lenore.
I always think highly of him because he took me on when I was a wreck from my stroke.
He since died of a heart-attack, leaving Lenore to become that college’s head public-relations honcho.
I always liked Lenore. I suppose there may have been a time I didn’t; I don’t remember.
I know it’s also possible I was perceived as negatory. I’m not approachable. This may have been exacerbated by my stroke.
But there we’d be late Saturday night, putting together the last of the Sunday paper. Lenore was Sunday Editor, and we were still doing paste-up. I was pasting-up back then, and it always seemed Lenore and I were finishing the Sunday paper — except for Sports. Lenore left.
My calling her “Queenie” was actually veneration, although it could be perceived the other way.
She’s a newsy, and I like that. She also could write well.
No wonder that previous Executive Editor hired her away.
What really did it was as follows:
A stringer faxed us a story about a town-meeting.
Since I became proficient at O.C.R. scanning, a news-editor asked if I could scan the fax. They wanted to run it on the front page.
A stringer is someone not on the newspaper staff, who gets assigned and paid for filing a report.
O.C.R. scanning is producing computer-text of a typewritten document. Optical-Character-Recognition, a computer software.
It’s a lot quicker than retyping into the system.
“When you’re finished,” the editor said; “give it to Lenore.”
So I scanned it, and it was dead.
What appeared was the stringer’s story rewritten by Lenore. She gave it a kicker, and made it more lively.
Lenore saved the story! I was impressed. —And only the stringer’s byline.
My guess is “Queenie” was when I first began blogging.
Just about every superior I worked with at the Messenger was venerable: best job I ever had.

• For 16&1/2 years (1977-1993) I drove transit bus for Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester, NY, a public employer, the transit-bus operator in Rochester and environs. My stroke October 26th, 1993 ended that. I retired on medical-disability. I recovered fairly well.
• RE: “Paste-up........” —Back then newspaper pages were pasted up on full-size cardboard page dummies. Story galleys were waxed in back and stuck to the page dummies. Those completed dummies were later photographed to produce a full-size negative of the newspaper page, with which a printing-plate was produced. Production of the story galleys was computerized, but it was an ancient mainframe based system.
• A “kicker” is the first line of a story. It’s meant to attract readers.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Richard Bastedo

For 16&1/2 years (1977 through 1993) yr fthfl srvnt drove transit bus for Regional Transit Service (RTS), supplier of transit-bus service in Rochester, NY and environs.
RTS is a public company, supposedly nonprofit, funded by the taxpayer.
My stroke ended it. I recovered fairly well, but retired on disability.
The job was supposed to be temporary, but paid pretty well, so I stayed with it.
Part of my joy was getting so I could safely operate large vehicles.
Over time I made many friends, and all were class acts.
Even those who weren’t had to be somewhat class. To keep your job at Transit you had to —1) show up, —2) not hit anything, and —3) keep your hands outta the farebox.
That second rule was hard to maintain. The road is full of grannies and NASCAR wannabees. “Oh Dora, look. A bus. PULL OUT! PULL OUT!”
The first rule was up against our clientele, who could be rancorous and cantankerous. We bus-drivers had a fourth rule, secret from management: “Don’t get shot!”
I made it a point to pick rural Park-and-Rides to minimize exposure to thugs.
One of my friends was bus-driver Richard Bastedo.
I Google-imaged him hoping to get a hit; he won the national Bus-Roadeo once.
What I got were 89 bazilyun hits for Alexandra Bastedo, a British movie-star and sexpot, who apparently loved to bare most of her chest.
23 years after retiring, I still have bus-dreams.
This morning’s had me following 832-bus onto University Ave. at Winton Road toward the city.
A fishbowl; called that because its giant windshield looked like a fishbowl. (Not RTS.)

A Flxible-flyer (not RTS, and not a city-bus; it has air-conditioning).
832 was an ancient soft-seater fishbowl, one of our first Park-and-Ride buses. It was white, and “832” is not correct — ours were 1000s.
It was in excellent shape, well maintained, probably with a new motor and tranny.
I pulled out to pass, and Bastedo was driving.
Many of our buses were junk.
“Why are they sending this thing out into the boonies? Cross your fingers, people; hope we don’t cripple.”
I once rode a bus as a passenger, and it sounded like the transmission was gonna come through the floor!
I knew it was a dream, because Bastedo died not loo long ago.
My stroke was somewhat fortunate, as I was tiring of the job.
Same-old, same-old. Especially the clientele.
A General Motors RTS-model bus (not Transit).

A Regional Transit M.A.N. articulated — it bends in the middle. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
And post-stroke I joined the Messenger newspaper in Canandaigua, best job I ever had.
The fishbowls are long-gone too, as are the Flxible-flyers, the buses I started with.
Even the last buses I drove, the 7s, 8s, and 9s, the “starships,” GM’s RTS-model, are gone — as are the buses I enjoyed driving most, our first artics, the 300s.
#309 is the bus I actually drove that morning, 2105-block, a Park-and-Ride on the 2100 line in from Fairport.
The starships were the best styling GM ever did.

• “Park-and-Rides” were trips from suburban or rural end-points, usually through Park-and-Ride parking-lots, where passengers would park their cars, for a bus-ride to work in Rochester.
• “Tranny” is the transmission on a motor-vehicle.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

I still can do it

“72 years old, had a stroke, but I’m still able to do this,” I said to myself through tears.
I had just completed online application for a $40 rebate on anti-flea medication for my dog.
It’s called “Bravecto,” is oral, and It’s made by Merck.
The tears are a stroke-effect. I had a stroke almost 23 years ago, but am left with slight lability: poor emotional control. It can manifest itself as excessive laughing or crying. With me it’s a tendency to cry more readily than normal.
There were the usual hairballs.
—First was indicating where you bought the stuff. A bunch of vet sites were listed, but not Honeoye Falls Veterinary (“hone-eee-OYE;” as in “boy”).
I was ready to check “not listed,” but noticed I was only on the first page of about 10.
There it was on page four.
Like everyone has time to pore through 89 bazilyun veterinarians.
—Next was “product code.”
The site displayed a product code, but it wasn’t the one on my box.
I tried to overwrite, but couldn’t. So I clicked “add product code.”
I did so, but NYET! “Erroneous product code.”
Hey man, it’s right on the box!
Time to call the 800 number.
“Welcome to Merck’s rebate-center. Yada-yada-yada-yada.”
10 minutes so far.
“You gotta use the product code Merck gives you,” I was told.
“So why was I directed to the one on your box?” I asked.
“Won’t work. The one on the site will.”
“Next.” “I hope I don’t hafta call you back.”
—Next was scan and upload my receipt from the veterinarian; or copy and mail. That’s for grannies, I surmised.
So I scanned it onto my desktop.
Now to upload.
And how, pray tell, do I do that, with no visible upload function?
Back to the 800 number; same girl.
“See that ‘Browse your device’?”
To me a “device” is my Smartphone, not my computer.
That’s the usage I’ve heard.
Why don’t they say “computer?”
“Okay, I’ll try it. Hold on.”
—Receipt uploaded: “Now what?”
“You got the ‘thank you’ page.”
“Print that and you’re finished.”
Well yes, indeed, it was the “thank you” page, but it looked like all the others.
The medication cost $100; I get rebated $40.
“Easy as pie,” the vet clerk said. “Just go online, fill out the form, and scan our receipt if ya can.”
At which point I usually say, although it doesn’t apply to me: “What if I don’t have a computer?”
In which case Merck says “TOUGH,” and adds another 40 smackaroos to its Mercedes account.
I can’t imagine my mother-in-law doing this. She still has a rotary phone.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Riv


Whither the portholes? (Photo by Richard Lentinello.)

Why is it just about every issue of Hemmings Classic Car magazine I get has some car I wanna blog?
This time it’s a 1964 Buick Riviera.
Buick’s Riviera debuted for the 1963 model-year. It was styled by Ned Nickles, etc. but could be said to be GM styling head-honcho Bill Mitchell’s first styling triumph.
Some of the best auto-styling ever done was under Bill Mitchell. Which was good because those were my college years.
The Big-Three Detroit auto manufacturers were branching out from doing only Chevrolet/Pontiac/Buick/Oldsmobile/Cadillac, Ford/Mercury/Lincoln, and Plymouth/Dodge/DeSoto/Chrysler and perhaps Imperial.
Humble beginnings.
Their first move was the 1953 Corvette, followed by Ford’s Thunderbird, meant to compete with Corvette.
Corvette was little more than a sportscar body on Chevy parts.
Then for 1958, the Thunderbird was expanded into a four-seater, defining a new market segment, the personal-luxury car.
Essentially four seats, but only for one or two people.
The market for six seats was sated. The Big-Three had to turn elsewhere to increase sales.
It was no longer one car in the garage. Now it had to be two.
For 1960 Chevrolet debuted its Corvair, Ford its Falcon, and Plymouth its Valiant.
All were secondary to major offerings, the full-size Chevrolets, Fords, and Plymouths.
The Corvair was the most unique; an air-cooled engine in the rear, with little connection to the standard Chevy.
The Riviera is Buick’s interpretation of a personal-luxury car, the format begun by Ford’s four-seater Thunderbird.
Off-and-running. the Big Three were soon making variations far from their full-size cars; Ford’s Mustang, and soon the mid-size platforms from GM, Chrysler, and Ford.
Buick’s early Riviera was the best looking personal-luxury car. It wreaked of Mitchell, responsible for the Corvette Sting-Ray, and the second generation Corvair.
All were extraordinarily good-looking. Sharply creased with good lines.
With its Riviera, Buick broke away from its hoary traditions of portholes and the waterfall grille (also called “shark’s-teeth”).
A four-holer (RoadMaster).
Buicks had portholes in their front-fender sides during the ‘50s. Faux exhaust ports. Buick’s Roadmaster had four per side, anything else was three.
The waterfall grille began after the war. It went away during the ‘60s, but now you see it again.
Even the portholes reappeared after disappearing during the ‘60s.
The Riv has none of that. No portholes, and the grille is Ferrari egg-crate.
About the only thing wrong is those giant enclosures at the front of each front-fender. They were for four stacked headlights, so they say, and I think the headlights gravitated there in a few years.
But for 1964 they’re in the grille, and they look fine. Those massive enclosures hold turn-signals.
The only thing wrong with this magazine Riviera is the color. To me, white or a darker color would look better.
Maybe I’ll try “replace-color” with my Photoshop.
Thanks to Mitchell the Riviera is the best-looking of the personal-luxury cars. A mode that lasted over a decade.
Sort of a sportscar. Powerful and fast, but not a true sportscar.
This Riv is owned by an addict of British sportscars. But he prefers touring his Riviera.
Makes sense to me. Long ago I had a Triumph sportscar, and I hated long distance with it.
It assaulted you with wind-noise and other racket.
I’ve graduated from sportscars. I also need something pillar-to-post, and sportscars ain’t.
This Riv is a looker, but I think I’d want something that handles better.
Plus the mileage is atrocious.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bye-bye!

As of Friday, April 8th, yr fthfl srvnt waved goodbye to just over 1,200 smackaroos ($1,201.72).
$946.57 to Isaac Heating and Air-Conditioning Friday, and $255.15 to Miller Plumbing.
Thankfully I had enough to cover it without overdrawing. But not out of current monthly cash-flow, which includes -a) my Transit disability pension — a pittance, -b) Social Security, and -c) a monthly draw from my IRA. It replaced my wife’s pension, which ended. That was how we set it up.
My added income was a refund on my prepaid 2015 taxes from the IRS.
I don’t count on that; the feds ain’t payin’ me interest.
I have a tankless water-heater, installed and maintained by Isaac.
“Tankless” is just that. There’s no holding-tank.
Water gets heated almost instantaneously to 120 degrees as it flows through the wall-mounted unit.
Turn on a hot-water faucet, and it starts flowing cold water through the unit.
Viola! Hot water; on demand. Only when you ask for it.
It’s not storing a tank of heated water.
As first designed our house had a tankless water-heater. But it was Swedish = very hard to get parts. At that time (26 years ago) no one American was making tankless water-heaters.
It also had a pilot, and it liked to blow out on windy days.
How many times did I relight that pilot?
We finally gave up, and installed a tank-type.
That was shortly after my stroke. Relighting that pilot was almost impossible for a stroke-victim — although I managed once or twice.
That was the first of two tank-types over the years.
Then our gas supplier offered a rebate to install a tankless. Supposedly tankless uses less gas.
So we bit, installed by Isaac, not our furnace contractor, but they were maintaining our standby generator.
That was eight years ago. My wife died four years ago.
My tankless has been acting up.
It cuts out and throws up an error-code.
The error-code is an overheated thermister.
In other words, all-of-a-sudden no hot water.
The thermister was overheating only during high demand. Like filling the washing-machine, or two demands at once.
A shower is low demand. Most uses are low demand, but the unit would stay cut out after cutting out.
Around-and-around I went with Isaac, including phonecalls where Ray Isaac serenades for hours about how wonderful his company is while you “hold for the next available representative.”
I dread calling Isaac Heating and Air-Conditioning. If I’d had any idea how frustrating a call to Isaac would be, I’d have taken my business elsewhere.
Although eight years ago the only HVAC that would install a tankless water-heater was Isaac.
I’ve even had a plumber blame a plugged toilet on my tankless. To which I observed I didn’t know my toilet was connected to hot water.
I have a service contract on my tankless, sort of an insurance policy.
But all it seems to cover are annual safety checks, maintenance, and low-level parts.
A couple weeks ago an Isaac service-tech flushed the unit’s heat-exchanger with vinegar — it was corroded.
That cost me $155.88; not covered, and the unit cut out the next day.
So, another service-call to Isaac, and how many times have I complained about Ray’s serenading? “Ya gotta hire more help, Ray. One office-lady is not enough.”
This time the tech took things apart, and photographed the heat-exchanger with his smartphone.
It was still severely corroded; apparently the vinegar wasn’t enough.
“It needs a new heat-exchanger. It’s so corroded not enough cooling air is getting to that thermister, so it overheats.”
“And it’s guaranteed 10 years.”
Nope; five years according to Rinnai (“Rin-AYE”), maker of the unit.
“They say it’s guaranteed 10 years, then list all the exceptions which cover most of the unit.”
$880 for a new heat-exchanger coil, the part that heats the water.
Almost a complete rebuild.
It’s my first major house repair since my wife died, and I can afford it.
I worry about my air-conditioning. It’s as old as the house. Replacing it will require dipping into my savings. —I didn’t hafta do that here.
My wife and I designed this house to be livable as we aged. All 3-foot doors, and everything on one floor, including freezer and laundry.
Plus it’s super-insulated. Foot-thick exterior walls, and 22 or 32 inches of blown insulation atop the ceiling — I don’t remember which.
We blew an energy-audit right outta the box.
So I ordered the heat-exchanger, and Isaac called last Monday to say they could install it last Friday.
Then last Thursday a toilet plugged. It happens occasionally.
Dare I say it: “shit happens.”
After five tries I couldn’t unplug it, and I heard gurgling through an adjacent sink, which told me the line was plugged, not the toilet.
I was planning to call my plumber because I had a couple slow drains, one extremely slow.
So I called the plumber, reporting both my slow drains and plugged toilet.
$255.15. I suppose they hafta charge enough to offset a service-call.
The contractor who built my house used to say any trip was worth over $1,000. That is, not the trip alone, but a job over $1,000.
I got this removing a tree. No one wanted to come out for a piddling job. My tree was HUGE. It required a crane. $1,235.75.
Just imagine some geezer older than me with a toilet that plugs. The poor guy will hafta enslave to his plumber.
My plumber heard the gurgling too, and thought he’d hafta snake.
He removed and inspected the toilet = not plugged.
But then the line apparently unplugged itself. —I had been pouring hot water in the toilet.
He poured a bucket of water in the drain, and it swallowed.
He reinstalled the toilet, but my bog-slow kitchen drain was so clogged he had to replace a pipe.
He left the clogged pipe in my garage, and it was so packed with crude it’s amazing anything passed through it.
“Yer cleanin’ me out,” I said to the Isaac tech as I cut his check for $946.57.
But as I say, I could afford it, and it’s the first major house-repair since my wife died.
My life is fairly easy. Our house ain’t breakin’ the bank.

• I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I pretty much recovered. Just tiny detriments; I can pass for never having had a stroke.
• My beloved wife of over 44 years died of cancer April 17th, 2012. I miss her immensely. Best friend I ever had.
• “HVAC” is heating/ventilation/air-conditioning.

Friday, April 08, 2016

“Yer too loud!”

“You mean to tell me you printed that tiny credit-receipt, maybe three square inches, on that gigantic 8&1/2-by-11 inch sheet of printer paper?”
“Timber!” I shouted; “another tree falls in the forest.”
I was at Urology Associates of Rochester, followup for my prostate removal last August.
I had a $15 copay, and they couldn’t do cash.
So I used my credit-card.
When I was finally discharged from the nursing-home, where I’d done physical-therapy for my recent knee-replacement, I suggested they were throwing me out, tired of my snide remarks, wisecracks and sick jokes.
“He’s a character,” they told whoever was picking me up.
My brother and I were in a pizza-restaurant in Altoona (PA) after a day of chasing trains.
I was looking at their menu.
“Pineapple pizza?” I shouted. “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole!”
“Shhhh-shhhh,” my brother said. “Ya got the whole place lookin’ at us.”
I was at my outpatient physical-therapy in Canandaigua.
I made a snide remark.
Fear-and-loathing throughout the physical-therapy.
“Don’t worry. I know you,” said my incredibly cute physical-therapist, who was working with someone else.
She greeted me in the lobby a couple days later. “Here I am,” I said; “totally devoid of social graces.”
It seems I’ve become more vocal since my wife died.
I used to pretty much keep to myself.
Maybe it’s my age, that I’ve attained geezerdom at age-72.
I can say whatever I want. People just give me strange looks or are horrified.
I don’t hafta care any more. I’m retired; no longer enslaved to “the man.”
So I get worse and worse. Snide remarks and wisecracks; pointing out madness where I observe it.
In May my college will hold a 50-year reunion for my class. I graduated in 1966.
My bereavement-counselor suggested I attend, that I need socialization.
My college is Houghton College (“HO-tin;” as in “hoe,” not “how” or “who”), an evangelical religious school about 75 miles south of Rochester (NY).
My father, a Bible-beating Baptist, wanted me to attend a Christian college, supposedly to “straighten me out” — it didn’t.
As an unbeliever I never fit in, and some classmates were judgmental.
I used to get this from adults in my parents’ church, and even my parents. I was disgusting and of-the-Devil.
So I attend this reunion. I’m afraid I’ll make potshots and snide remarks.
I’ll get classmates all bent outta shape.
I’ll note I’m missing three things since my last reunion: -a) my left knee, which was replaced, -b) my prostate gland, which was found to be cancerous, so was removed, and -c) my wife of 44+ years, who also graduated in our class.
“You’ll see her again some day,” some classmate is sure to say.
50 years ago I would have held back.
Diplomacy and tact.
But now I’ll just blurt it out. “Thanks for caring, but I never believed that stuff, and my wife didn’t either.”
Classmates will gasp.
Diplomacy and tact are for wusses.

“And according to you guys, my wife is roasting in Hell, where I’ll meet her, if at all.”
I been on this planet 72 years, and my beloved wife is gone.
If you can’t handle what I say, that’s your problem.

• RE: “after a day of chasing trains........” —My brother and I are railfans, and we photograph trains in Altoona PA.
• My wife died of cancer April 17th, 2012. I miss her immensely. She was the best friend I ever had; and after my childhood I sure needed one.