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Alfred J. Garrotto

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· There's More: A Novella of Life and Afterlife

· The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story

· The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean

· Down a Narrow Alley

· I'll Paint a Sun

· Circles of Stone

· A Love Forbidden

· Finding Isabella

· Battling Writer's Guilt

· The Saint With the Dragon Tattoo

· My Cello Year

· We Both Had Dads Named Joseph

· Highjacked by a Great Novel

· When All Else Fails

· House of Faith

· A Little Night Music

· Keep It Simple . . . The Way Jesus Did

· O How Will We Ever Pay For All This?

· A Wedding Prayer-Poem

· A Prayer for Esther on Her Birthday

· Earth Mother”

· In Memory of Bill Joyce

· Aging Actor

· Graduation 2003 . . . Wedding 2010

· A Wedding Toast

· Driver's Prayer

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In a Child's Eyes
By Alfred J. Garrotto
Last edited: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2010

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Recent articles by
Alfred J. Garrotto

• Catholicism in a Nutshell
• We Are, Sometimes, Corked Bottles
• Elements of a Successful Family
• Battling Writer's Guilt
• The Saint With the Dragon Tattoo
• My Cello Year
• We Both Had Dads Named Joseph
           >> View all 27
I learned an important lesson the day my wife and I took our 3-yr.old grandson for a ride on an Amtrak train.

What's heaven like? The closest I've come to it was in the eyes of a 3 year old with a passion for choo choo trains. Little trains, like miniature Thomas; big ones, like the old retiree (shown here) resting trackside at the Martinez (CA) Amtrak Station.

At my grandson's command, I hoisted him onto my lap and displayed his favorite snapshot on my wide-screen monitor.

"Can that choo-choo go on the tracks?" I asked.

"No!" He delivered his line with the enthusiasm of a child actor in a Cheerios commercial.

"And why not?"

"Too old, too tired." Together we exhaled a compassionate sigh for this once-proud locomotive that now can only watch and reminisce, as younger models race by. 

Recently, we lucky grandparents had our little guy to ourselves for two whole days. What better way to spend this time than by treating him to his first ride on a real train and a visit to the Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento? On the day before our adventure, he and I went to the station to buy our tickets. 

"Why do we need a ticket?" I asked.

No script for this dialogue, but several prompts later he got it. "No ticket, no choo-choo ride." 

In our short time at the station, an eastbound Capitol Corridor train roared in, whistles blasting, guard gates clanging as they fell. When it stopped, the engineer leaned out of the cab and waved. At first, my grandson couldn't believe the gesture was directed at him. How could such an important man--one with power to tame this mammoth beast--be waving at me? Slowly, his little arm rose and waved back.

The next morning, a silver giant's doors slid open to receive a wide-eyed little boy and two excited grandparents. For the next hour, our little traveler pressed his nose to the window, in awe of every sight that we considered ordinary--the Martinez-Benicia Bridge and the brown Carquinez Straits current lapping at its pylons, empty Solano County fields, and a ho-hum stretch of the Sacramento Valley. 

I envied my grandson's vision of the wonders to which I had become blind. I felt moved by the depth of his contemplation of the miracles of nature and human invention.  I resolved then and there to view  the world that day--and after--through his eyes.


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Books by
Alfred J. Garrotto

The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean

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Circles of Stone

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A Love Forbidden

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Down a Narrow Alley

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The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story

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There's More: A Novella of Life and Afterlife

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Finding Isabella

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

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