Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Franklins and The Foamers At Railroad Daze
We spent this past Saturday at Franklin Park's Railroad Daze. This annual fest is the epitome of small town fun, a half hour out of the big city. It was such a welcome relief to find close, free parking a block from the fest. And there was not an overpriced parking meter to be seen!
The kids rode a free fun little red train made from barrels pulled behind a glorified lawnmower and decked out in American and Canadian flags.
And we all rode a free bigger version of a train, which got stopped at the tracks for an even bigger version of a train--a reeeeeal slooooooow reeeeeeal freight train, that is.
Our Montessori teacher friend, who lives in Franklin Park, ran into many of her relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. every time she turned around. Her husband has lived in Franklin Park all his life as did his family for several generations before. The Green Festival the following day was a bit like that for us, since we ran into no less than 16 of our friends there. But in Franklin Park, we were pleasantly incognito. We only met up with two families we know, which was the perfect size to share a picnic table with.Railroad Daze was staffed by the local police and firemen, while neighborhood restaurants and non profits ran reasonable food booths and a beer garden. The kids were elated to score their first funnel cakes of the year.We toured a variety of trains from modern Metras to vintage sleeper cars with ornate living rooms. Sage was ready to move in and ride the rails indefinitely, traveling all the time. The kids got a kick out of "driving" the trains and one friendly Metra engineer said he'll occasionally let kids really drive the train......."If you catch me and I'm on something, driving." This provoked much laughter from my friend. Casey Jones you'd better watch your speed.The tracks were lined with a good share of train buffs and those loco for locomotives. I've heard them affectionately called foamers, because they foam at the mouth over trains of all sorts. But man, did they have some NICE cameras.