Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday afternoon tunes: Their fathers' magic carpet made of steel

So I'm riding home last night and traffic was stopped at a grade crossing because a locomotive was switching around about eight or ten freight cars, all designed to carry plywood from the mills, although most were empty.

The bike lane gets a lot closer to the tracks than the street traffic gets (whether that's because we're assumed to have better judgment or because we're assumed to be more expendable, I prefer not to guess). So I was able to chat for a moment with the fellow on foot by the track switch, who was in radio contact with the locomotive. The last car slowly cleared the intersection, and we nodded good night to each other. As a parting shot, I said, You know, I've wanted your job since I was a kid.

He grinned and said, I can't believe I got this job.

“City of New Orleans” has been covered by just about everyone – most famously by Arlo and Willie. But I still like hearing Steve Goodman, who wrote the song in 1971, perform it.

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