A day for all to enjoy and bring back memories.The Pere Marquette 1225's blueprints were the prototype for the locomotive image, and its sounds were used in the 2004 film The Polar Express. This is its first year to use the 1225 Pere Marquette in the North Polar Express in Michigan. What a wonderful way to evoke visions of days gone bye.
The girls and I wanted to do something fun without the dogs and have a day to play, hence the childhood escape back in time. Now my kids have no idea about such things but to me it was a step back to times gone bye. The times I long for, the innocence of folks the simple things in life that are missing in today's society. When we enjoyed being with other people, the simplest thing brought such joy to all. When Christmas was a holiday not a season that starts before Halloween. People believed in the spirit of Christmas not the consumerism that has taken over our society today. I understand it, with out the constant buying and consuming of goods our country ceases to exist. But in no way do I like it. I use to only care about paying my bills and buying food to eat. Now I want just like the rest of the country but I so miss the days of need not want. I saw something over the weekend about some folks giving thanks for what they had on Thanksgiving then on Black Friday the next day being part of a stampede looking to get the hottest bargains, just running over folks. Now I want but I can not be part of the craziness that has come over this country. So to have a day of simple pleasure was so heart warming to me it made me believe again.
The Railroad and the little village of Ashley MI out done themselves putting on this day of believing for all to see and and enjoy. The railroad had all the traditions of riding the rails in place. The old style steam engine, what a joy to hear the whistle and hear the bell of the train. They had engineers, brakeman, conductors, ticket takers, steward, porters and the cloths to match.
The village of Ashley came out in full to greet all of the passages of the Polar Express. It was like stepping off the train straight into a scene from Funny Farm, where the whole town came out to put on an old fashion Norman Rockwell Christmas to help sell the Farmer's home. The Mayor was there to greet all. The town closed down reg traffic to the center of the village to allow all to roam the streets and submerge our selves into a nostalgic past.
They even had Hobo's and their tents along the tracks for the surreal effect of the era of train travel. Old cars, lunch in the community center, horse drawn wagons and they even came equipped with lap throws to keep your legs warm. There was a lot of attention to details that I had mostly forgotten but it soon came back.
The citizens of Ashely put on a very nice time for all to have. Santa came and Ms Claus roamed the streets greeting all, there were Reindeer to pet and elf's that help with family photos and passed out candy canes and rang there jingle bells for all to hear. Christmas carols where heard from every where, the only thing missing was snow.
At the end of the day we were given a small token of the day. The message was simple but heartwarming as it in fact was a day of believing.
The train drew great crowds of people at every intersection to take pictures and wave as we moved across the landscape of the county side, adding to the fun of the ride.
I would like to thank the folks of Ashely who all put on a great day for us to enjoy. And the Railroad for taking us there in such nostalgic wonder.