ALL ABOARD!

When I was a kid growing up in Memphis, my family would travel by train every summer to visit relatives in St. Louis. Every time I heard the phrase ALL ABOARD! I nearly stumbled getting to the train -- I was that excited! And it was the enthusiasm and the drawing out of each word that fed my excitement. And the relatives we visited included Aunt Dodo and Uncle Herman, who play a vital role in my YA-novel, HONEYSUCKLE HOLIDAY. They were awesome, and I grew up wanting to be just like them. In the novel, Lucy -- the main character -- and her sisters have so much fun on one particular train trip, when they overhear a conversation between a bickering married couple. And as they approach Union Station in St. Louis they chuckle as their mother says, "Comb your hair, we're almost there!" And they reply in unison, "Yes, ma'am, Conductor Sam!" Have you ever ridden a train? Did you love it, too? Do you have a story to share?

" . . . most folk who ride trains could care less where they're going. For them it's the journey itself and the people they meet along the way." David Baldacci -- The Christmas Train

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