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S Phillips

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Captivating Gift on the Rails
by S Phillips

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by S Phillips
•  the water rushes (Psalms 78:15-16)
•  I Will Never Ride a Barrel Over Niagara--answering the challenge
•  If fish can give pedicures
•  it must be her
•  Wafted in the breeze tonight
           >> View all 6

A couple weeks ago, I was a passenger in a car ride "out in the country." For the first time ever, I saw the Arcade Attica Train Depot for a mere moment on the drive-by.

Today, I got to hear, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story."

(All the while composing the poem, I'm serenaded by whistles on the rails across the street from where I live--poem finally finished--then longer series of whistles blew! I've revised since then, hence poem's dated more recent than the original of Sept. 16th 2008.) After reading the poem, you'll see I include JT Robertson's personal "Make a Difference" webpage: "All Aboard the Train." I'm sure he'd love to hear from you!

the rails echo their strength tonight
waves of whistles travel through night-air
past "Whistle-Stop" visitors at Niagara today
ABC's Robin Roberts, Chris Cuomo, Diane Sawyer, aglow
chatting amidst an ever-present curtain of Niagara-mist
Good Morning America's here, in Western New York

by railcar--on a 50-days 50-states "Whistle-Stop Tour"
they've entered our world, WNY
noticing stark differences beyond Niagara’s shores
Niagara USA, a vacant shell of magnificent history
people filled with home-town spirited hearts
teens who'd not think to leave their beloved WNY

pre-teen JT Robertson is at Niagara's Whistle-Stop
a 12-year old who's realized an adult reality
not all classmates can afford rail rides 
JT Robertson feeling pangs of grief
innocently having a need to share his locomotive passion
set his heart on a personal mission

a year of bags & more bags piled high as a refuse hill
empty soda bottles, cans--collected & readied for cash
gaining assurance classmates would hear "All Aboard!" 
--JT's heart ever-expanding, rallied a tougher ambition
to include less fortunate--affording disabled kids any-age
a ride on the railroad in the rolling hills of home 

a journey of memories, whistles of the train, rail vibrations 
on a relic steam engine, spewing smoke, soot & steam
along a line of rail cars need not to meet "code"
when it comes to disabled getting on-board
a deeply disheartened 12 yr. old wrote necessary letters
to Ty Pennington, Paul Neuman, for charitable gifts

at Niagara, amidst cool sprays and cooler breezes
ABC-TV's Robin Roberts reports JT's compassion & mission 
--a rising crescendo from Niagara's mist-filled crowd
reveals a secret: TY Pennington of home improvements
saying sometimes dreams come true & that's good-news
to a 12-year old whole-heartedly committed to giving

JT Robertson, age 12, will have no tears tomorrow
when "Extreme Make-over Home Edition" is done
when Ty Pennington & friends shout "Take a look!"
when Arcade and Attica Railroad Station is abuzz
when any-abled child can board & ride hillside rails hearing
JT Robertson gratefully & gleefully shout, "ALL Aboard!"





All Aboard the Train
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Reviewed by John Coppolella 11/15/2008
Your richly illustrated analogy of nature's fury to the passion of a boy determined not to let anything derail his dreams, despite personal realities to the contrary is well done. Excellent Sue!

Rockie Coppolella
Reviewed by Susie McCray 11/13/2008
Excellent story from beginning to end.
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 10/4/2008
Wonderful writing..enjoyed very well and always safe...Hugs
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/27/2008
Thank you for sharing this descriptive and detailed write, Sue. It is a lesson for me and I appreciate it. Love and best wishes,

Reviewed by Michelle Mead 9/22/2008
So many great details here for the reader to savor. Enjoyed :)
Reviewed by Lois Christensen 9/18/2008
Never been to the Falls, Do not know if I'll ever get there even. But your descriptive write takes me there with you on this train ride. Good write again.
Reviewed by George Carroll 9/18/2008
Been there and what a sight I'll never forget. A must see for all vacation bound people all over the world. See America first is my motto.
Reviewed by Jon Willey 9/17/2008
Sue, you've told it so well -- WNY lass -- their is a comforting tranquility that the quaint places on earth wear so well -- you've described one along with a first rate member of its populace -- thanks --JMW
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 9/17/2008
Wonderful, heartfelt write about a fantastic piece of history as Niagra is and always has been. Beautiful country up there and the many lovely sleepy towns that surround it...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Felix Perry 9/17/2008
Excellant write and combined with history and bio of a man who ranks with the best as you tell it. Well done and though I have never been to the US side of Niagara Falls I have visited the Canadian side a few times in my life and I am always awed...not by the tinsel and the glitter but by natures' power.


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