My back started killing me yesterday, but today I took an Aleve, then did the laundry, dishes, mowed the lawn and got my hair cut. Then I took Anne for a bicycle training ride. We entrained one behind the other, in a pace line, as we raced downtown to the old train station. I’ve decided that the Prius has gone mainstream. We were waiting at a light next to one and a country-western ballad was blaring from it. How much more mainstream can you get than that? Our training destination was Union Station, the old train station, because today is Train Day. There were all sorts of train related activities going on there, besides it was all free. What better excuse for a bike destination do you want?
Union Station has been around for 120 years, almost half as long as Saint Louis has, but it has long since ceased operating as a railroad station. In its hey-day it was quite the transportation hub. One Union Station highlight from that time occurred when President Truman jubilantly held aloft the erroneous Chicago Tribune headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman”, the night of the 1948 presidential election. For a while it just sat derelict, then it was converted into a shopping mall where it had some success, but once the novelty of the place wore off, the mall fell upon hard times. Part of Train Day’s celebration is because Union Station is now under new management.
Anne and I toured the parked trains, both new and old, passenger and freight. We watched the laser light show in the station hotel’s Grand Hall and we checked out all of the many model railroad setups on display. We also bumped into Pat from work. Then it was time to leave. I had snagged a couple of dollar off coupons, so we stopped off at the Fountain on Locust for some ice cream.