Thanks to an LSU game there were no flights available this weekend. So, it forced me to travel by train. I actually like the train better than flying but it takes longer. Sitting in the terminal in New Orleans, LA I was quickly reminded why I love riding Amtrak.
A lovely woman sitting next to me leaned over to ask if I knew why our train was delayed. After finding out Amtrak gave us all different reasons (typical) we laughed about it. I heard someone beckon her. “Lucille,” they said. “The train is about to pull in.”
She asked if I could take her picture by the train before we boarded? She had never traveled by rail before and she was very excited. Needless to say it took the train nearly 30 more minutes to arrive but it gave me enough time to be intrigued by a lovely woman who blessed my morning.
If I were her age and single I’d probably ask her out on a date. She looked and moved every bit of 60 but she was living her best life and had earned a degree in slaying rooms with her radiant smile. I loved the fact that she could hold a very diverse conversation and her opinions were well structured. She danced all over Politics, Entertainment, Education, and even Technology. What many young women today fail to offer is a balanced conversation. This lady was well versed about any World Affair I could bring up.
The Price Is Right
She was headed to California because she and her friends were going to a taping of The Price Is Right. She was thrilled she was going to be on her favorite show. Like my grandmother and every other woman in her age group, Lucille told me… “Bob Barker is still the most handsome game show host of all time.”
My nana loved four men that I know of: Bob Barker, Jim Baker, Sidney Portier, and Victor Newman. I found out Lucille likes those same rendition of men but judging by her expressive language… Steve Harvey can get it!
I asked her why do women her age like game shows so much? She responded… “because we have been through all that drama they show on the soaps. All we want to do now is win some money so we can spoil our grandkids!” It made very good sense to me.
Lucille had a confession to make. “I never really wanted a cellphone. I couldnt understand what the big deal was,” she explained. However, she admitted she was dying to have a ‘cellular phone’ when she found out they have cameras on them.
Lucille remembers when women carried little photo albums in their ‘pocketbooks’ to show off their kids and grandkids. To be able to have hundreds of her family pictures on her at all times meant the world to her. She expressed how hard it gets to remember everything at her age but pictures quickly bring the memories back. In that moment, without even knowing it, she reminded me… as the years go by the only things which last are the memories you create for your kids. I have much work to do.
We went on and on about generational differences. She feels this generation is uninformed of issues and it disturbs her that young people are satisfied so easily with America as it is. “They don’t watch the news, vote, or even have knowledge of what’s happening and that is very scary… no… it’s a tragedy.”
She, like many of her friends, watch a lot of news. She expressed how men in her generation had to be educated, mannerable, sharp, well-versed, and upright. These attributes are what drew people in her day to John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ronald Raegan, and Jesse Jackson. It is terrifying to Lucille and her peers that this generation has elected a President who possesses none of those qualities.
They called for all “Sleepers” to board the train first. Lucille and her friends were first time railriders and didn’t know what a ‘sleeper’ was. I explained to her you can upgrade to a more spacious and private room called a Sleeping Cart. They have beds, showers, the morning paper, and they even come with three meals in the Dining Cart (restaurant on the train). She is determined now to be a sleeper ‘next time’.
I asked her if she would be going to The Price Is Right again and she told me no. After The Price Is Right she has to begin her plans to see Steve Harvey at Family Fued!
The Window Seat
I passed through her cart going to eat dinner on the train and I saw her snuggled in her blanket with her orange bedazzled hat on her head. Her tray was pulled out. With a smile on her face and her bible in her hand, she looked out of the window at the beautiful scenery you can only experience on a train. She looked happy.
In that moment I realized Lucille Mushatt, an 80 year old woman from Montgomery, AL, had learned life’s little secret. Life is not about how much time you may have wasted. It’s about how you plan to spend the time you have left.