on January 6, 2010 by alchemystic in American Upbeat, Comments Off
Once On A Blue Moon!!!!
Once more, I’ve slipped through the crack, Fargo, Minot, Havre, and Whitefish, all locked down under a deep freeze now, my train rolled through in temperatures termed temperate, in comparison, none the less, it seemed to snow all the way across. I learned something on this train, I learned I need to add one more item to the list, you know, that list of things, you don’t talk about, if you want the conversation to remain civil that is. Politics, Religion, and now we all can add Health Care Reform!!! Irving, in the morning, was singing a different song, he looked kinda beat up, beat down by a old crafty man, in a friendly game of poker, beat down by a cheat! I asked him about the old mans shuffle, whether he’d seen, how the old man was stacking the deck? Looking back, I believe, the train was that old mans game, he said he was going to Boston, I’d bet my money, on him taking his ill gotten gains, buying a train ticket for a new destination, and doing it all over again. I would watch this guy moving through the train, the old man looked harmless! In the late eighties, I was living in Venice, living the dream, there was a beat down old man, hanging out, homeless, harmless, well he looked harmless! One day, an old friend, Robert and I, were tossing a football on speedway, Jo Jo, that beat down, old homeless man, was crossing speedway a little farther down, I yelled his name, threw the ball, then saw a different side of this guy, Without much effort, Jo Jo caught that ball, drew back, and let it fly, this man was a predator, loose, walking the streets, of my home town! On the Empire Builder, we’ve gone through our first night, stopped in Minneapolis, St. Paul, the gateway to Deluth! Gore Vidal wrote a book, Deluth, I struggled through the first two thirds. After thirty years,what I remember, is the struggle, soldering through the first 2/3s, how the last third was the reward, and an image of Hubert Humphrey’s Head, floating on lake Superior, through a fog. Think just maybe, I’ll read it again! A few of us, aboard the Portland Train, are gathered in the bowels, the lower level of the car, let’s see, there’s Shannon, there’s …, you know, I go blank, guess I was really focused on Shannon. (if you’ve read Part !, Part!!, Part!!!, you should begin to sense a theme going on here) Anyhow, there are four or five of us, standing around talking, watching North Dakota unfurll across the window, maybe five and a half. We are all aware, just a week before, us Train Travelers, Long Distance Train Travelers, were viewed as something, just a little short of crazy, now, after events over Christmas, with the planes, weather, and airports, we might be seen, as being ahead of the curve! Well Health Rare Reform, comes up in the conversation, I’m a bit curious to the thoughts of Shannon, and her group of friends, six college kids, in school, in Chicago, traveling to Oregon, renting a car in Portland, then looking forward to driving deep, into some Red Wood Forest. I ask about what occurred on the Senate Floor, whether anyone saw, when Sen. Franken, shut down Sen. Lieberman. A guy traveling with his young son to Whitefish, a salt of the earth kind of man, let’s me know, that Lieberman, being shut down by Franken, was unconstitutional. Well, before me, I see a fish, ready to be speared, if what he stated were true, it would not have happened, as it were, it had not happened to my knowledge, before in the Senate, however it was an action, within the rules of the Senate. When I hear people throw out carelessly, utterances of constitution, I wonder if they ever sat down and read it. In Portland, my plans, were to hook up with a man who surely would, give me the low down, on this Health Care Reform Debate. When asked, he said one statement, would sum it up, one, not his, but one he had heard. ” I don’t want Government fooling around with my Medicare!” What I take away, hearing that statement, is the bulk of this debate, is grounded with ignorance, I think media terms it emotion, but you know, a duck is a duck. So this young man traveling with his son and I begin debate, he doesn’t trust his Government, I don’t trust Insurance Companies, you know, the Corporations. He says, he doesn’t want any new taxes, I ask him, if he understands, money payed to Insurance Companies, amount to just another Tax, when Insurance is required by Government. I would like a public option, he would not, it got rather heated between us, later I sought him out, apologized, him, like me, a union man, as firmly as he holds onto his ideals, I hold onto mine!