5.2.2022 – seen all of the sights

seen all of the sights
it is a little too dark
to see any more

Adapted from a passage from a book I read a long time ago.

It is the final paragraph to the autobiography of one of my favorite authors, Bruce Catton, of Benzonia, Michigan.

After a career of being a Civil War historian and 20 or more books and countless articles on the war picking up a Pulitzer Prize for the writing along the way, Mr. Catton wrote Waiting for the Morning Train – A Michigan Boyhood (1972 – Doubleday).

Writing about the war, Mr. Catton experienced all that this country had to offered at it lowest point and he was also able to maintain an optimistic outlook.

With the poetry of the written paragraph, Mr. Catton closed his auto-biography with this passage.

But you know how it can be, waiting at the junction for the night train. You have seen all of the sights, and it is a little too dark to see any more even if you did miss some, and the waiting room is uncomfortable and the time of waiting is dreary, long-drawn, with a wind from the cold north whipping curls of fog past the green lamps on the switch stands. Finally, far away yet not so far really, the train can be heard; the doctor (or station agent) hears it first, but finally you hear it yourself and you go to the platform to get on. And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity, which is after all where this train is going. And there by the steps of the sleeping car is the Pullman conductor, checking off his list. He has your reservation, and he tells you that your berth is all ready for you. And then, he adds the final assurance as you go down the aisle to the curtained bed: “I’ll call you in plenty of time in the morning.”

The final assurance as you go down the aisle to the curtained bed: “I’ll call you in plenty of time in the morning.”

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