|Dining car on an old Chicago line.|
It was still dark when my mother took me to the dining car in the morning. It was the most wonderful place in the world, a rolling room from a fairytale. I didn't know about racism and Pullman porters yet. To my child's eyes, it only seemed festive that the staff were black and wore shocking white uniforms. It looked special, as if the look was designed.
The tablecloths and napkins weren't just white -- they were shockingly white, as were the uniforms of the dining staff and the towel over the forearm of the man who served us breakfast. And there was a lot of silver and glass on the table.
As we shook and rolled, we ate eggs with sausage and toast, and had a cup of coffee. At one point, I remember being very impressed by a tiny glass of tomato juice the waiter placed before me. It sat, so bloody red on that blindingly white tablecloth. Drinking that glass of tomato juice seemed the height of sophistication to me.
And all the while, the world rushed by our window. I saw mountains and rivers and waterfalls. And as the minutes passed, the darkness lifted in stages. It was the first time I saw the sun rise. It was absolutely glorious, inside the car and out. I thought I was in heaven.
That hour spent in a railway dining car is one of my favorite memories. Got any you'd like to share?