Any Time Is Train Time


The Super Chief and El Capitan at Pasadena, CA circa 1972Today I decided to take a little break from creating websites and doing search engine optimization. I was thinking about a different kind of engine, and a few of the very cool jobs I have had in my career. I started out as a Ticket Agent at the Pasadena, CA train station alongside Dale Ball (Lucille’s cousin). We saw many celebs make the short drive from Hollywood to board the Super Chief headed for Chicago or other eastern destinations. I witnessed the end of the line for the Santa Fe Super Chief as it was soon replaced with Amtrak.  See the below video to experience another era in rail travel.

It is great to be on the cutting edge of web design now that I am receiving a railroad pension, but I suppose I have always been a railroad safety man at the core. I have witnessed some tragic accidents over the years, but always held out the hope that my modest musical contributions may have resulted in the saving of a life. While working on the Santa Fe Railroad, I wrote a simple song about safety titled “Any Time Is Train Time”.

At the time, I was a member of the California Operation Lifesaver committee, along with Michael Gross (Family Ties). Michael’s dad was a railroader, so I guess it kinda’ ran in his veins too. In the summer of 1988 we embarked from San Francisco together for a marathon whistle-stop tour of California. For the next three days, when the train pulled into the station of each small town, I would hop up on a flat car and sing my song. Michael would give his railroad safety speech to the local dignitaries, and we would head down the tracks to the next stop.

usmcbandWe did this all the way to San Diego where the U.S. Marine Corps Marching Band waited on the platform and played “Oh Shenandoah!” upon our arrival.

That has since become one of my very favorite songs. Here is a beautiful arrangement by guitarist Doug Young. Enjoy!

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