I’m a part-time train conductor in the summer and fall here in Meredith, NH.
Last year, 2014, was my first year and my first week on the job one of my fellow employees, Theresa Drury, bestowed upon me the moniker of the Kissing Conductor.
It happened because on one trip a vacationing Italian family wanted to take my photo. The daughter, in her late 20’s blushed when I asked if she would like to have her photo taken with me. Her parents got huge smiles so we took the photo.
Next I asked her, “May I give you a small kiss on the cheek??
The young woman got a huge smile on her face, as did her parents, they shot the photo and so it began.
Theresa was one car away at on the boardwalk at Weirs Beach and witnessed the entire encounter. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
Last week Christina, visiting from Florida, was on the train with three of her friends. She grew up in New Hampshire and was back for a visit.
We got to talking as I punched tickets and the next thing you know she told me about her love for trains.
“Have you ever had the chance to blow a train whistle?”
“Oh no. Never.”
“Would you like to?”
“Are you serious? You can make that happen?”
Just steps away was the vestibule of one of our historic Lackawana passenger cars. At the north end of the car is the handle to blow the whistle that still works on the car. It’s a multi-tone whistle that’s the best one on the train.
Think steamboat whistle.
“Watch how I just have to pull this lever a small amount to activate it.”
I pulled down ever so slightly and there was the rich tone.
“Now it’s your turn.”
I moved out of the way and Christina grabbed the lever.
I wish I could have captured her smile.
“Oh that was amazing! THANK YOU SO MUCH!”
“Well, I have a small favor to ask.”
Sure, what is it? Christina replied.
“Well, you see, I have this reputation as a …….”
Here’s what happened a minute later:
Thank You Christina and hurry back to the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad!