In the summer of 1952, I was five and my little brother was two. My little sister was just in the making, and she wasn’t born until January of 1953. My mother took the two of us across the country on the train to visit our grandparents. We were in a Pullman sleeper car, so we had a self contained room with bathroom and bunk beds. My mother was desperately morning sick, and we spent almost all our time on the first leg from Portland to Chicago in our room. The porter was very loving and brought our food to the room. My brother and I were not suffering from nausea and we were often hungry. My mother had stocked up with activity books for me, especially my favorite dot-to-dot books. I remember feeling cooped up, but probably not nearly as much as my mom felt with the two of us in that small compartment.
The last leg of the trip from Chicago to Buffalo was much less pleasant, but it was much shorter. We were on the New York Central Railroad which was filthy in comparison to the Union Pacific we had been on. The high spot was the dining car whose menu is pictured above. I loved that menu as you can tell since I kept it all these years.
We had come to see my grandparents because my grandfather wanted to christen my little brother. He had christened me when we still lived in New York, but my brother had been born in Oregon. While my parents weren’t religious, my mother honored her father’s desire to pray over my brother.
I remember my grandfather lifting me off the train in Buffalo and then little else about the trip. In Pike, he donned his clerical robes and christened my little brother.Then we played happily for days, reassured once again of God’s love as it shone through my grandfather.