I’m (GAT) coming up on 20 years of regularly riding Amtrak (funny, most has been on the East Coast). My first was Early October 2001. I think we all remember September 2001.
When 911 happened I was already scheduled for a business trip to Portland, ME. it was with with one of my favorite clients and friends – Whitney Drake (how’s that for a classic New England name?!?). In those days I always took red eyes out of SFO into Logan. It was an eerie flight – there were 8 of us total on the flight. I got a whole row to stretch out. Eerie!
I’ve always strived to embed as many experiences into my life / travels as possible. JDT, the kids and I were Oakland A’s season ticket holders. And I learned in late September the A’s would play the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. AND as fortune would have it, games 1 and 2 would be played at Yankee Stadium during the week I was scheduled to spend in Portland. Just MAYBE??
I’m pretty good at logistics. This was whole new level. Tickets through the A’s. Discuss missing a day at the client with Whitney. Hotel. Train (connection to this post theme). Etc.
My college buddy, Steve Sagehorn was living in DC at the time. AND Steve is triple the adventure seeker than me. So I called him and told him I had a ticket for him, if he could get to Penn Station the afternoon of October 10. Easy peasy!!
Have you ever been to a playoff game at Yankee Stadium? Mind you, I’ve been fortunate to have been to plenty of playoff games, mostly with the A’s. (I’ll have to remember to tell the story of taking N&B to Minnesota for two playoff games – it’s a real good one). My first playoff experience was 1968 with my Dad, Steve and Mike (brothers) – Raiders v. Chiefs. I was hooked on sports. Back to the A’s – Yankees. There was a moment during the game where Jason Giambi hit a home run in the upper deck in right field. Well, me being ME, I jumped onto my feet and began chanting mvp, mvp, MVP!! The place was as quiet as a church, as this was a shot that sealed the win. My buddy Steve was tugging on me to sit down. Mind you, I was in full A’s gear. We did make it out alive!!
After a bit more than three hours sleep, I was off across 8th Ave to grab the train back to Boston. There was one more forever remembered moment. If you ever were in the old Amtrak portion of Penn Station, you know it was a bit “dated”. Anyway, as I navigated my way into the bowels of Penn Station, all of a sudden an announcement came through the speakers. You see it was early on October 11, 2001. And WE were observing a moment of silence one month on from 911. It was powerful.
All of these remembrances and emotions came over me as I entered the brand new Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall and saw the same train I was on some nearly 20 years ago came up on the board.