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Cross Country Train
The Indian Chief Head Swizzle Sticks
I was going through some old photographs and keepsakes at my mother's house this weekend and come across some Indian chief head drink swizzle sticks. I looked at those sticks and blurry memories from decades past began filling my mind.
I was 3 years old when my immigrant family decided that we did not like New York and would move on to California. My father drove my mother, brother, my dog and me to Chicago where he would continue the drive with our dog, and my mother would ride the train with my brother and me.
There was so much chaos in our lives at that time that even though I was so young I have some very vivid memories of the trips and moves we made. I recall the train and how exciting it was. I also remember my mother being very stressed with having two children, a 3 and a 4 year old with her. She was continually saying, "act grown up", and "you can not act the way you do at home in here." Her stress of leaving Europe and life in New York not working out had her on edge, and I really think that at this time she just wanted to go back home.
While we were getting ready for bed my mother put tremendous stress on me when she told me not to pee the bed. She said "you can't do that here". My brother was over doing things like that most of the time, but I was the problem. I worried about it all day, and now I was scared. I thought I would be in big trouble if I wet the bed, and I just could not control it. The next morning I was in trouble. My mother was scolding me and saying, "I don't know what to do, you are not supposed to do this, I am going to have to tell the porter." I was in tears, my mother was upset, and ready to tell this" Porter", and then they were both going to punish me. This was serious stress for a 3 year old.
When the Porter came by, I wanted to disappear. He was a black man in a very official-looking uniform. My mother held me by the hand as she told the porter what I had done. The porter looked at me and said in the warmest tone, "well, that's okay, I will take care of that," I will never forget the kindness of that man. Many adults talk as though children are not even there, or as tough they are not really grasping and intonations. This man did all he could to put my mother at ease and take the stress off of me. He later stopped by and gave my brother and me both some Santa Fe Indian Chief head swizzle sticks. We absolutely loved them!
To children who are traveling without toys, those swizzle sticks meant the world to us. After seeing how much we loved them, the porter asked us which colors we liked best. Red and Blue! we shouted enthusiastically. The Porter said he would be back with red and blue as soon as he could. As the trip dragged on and playing on the train was getting old, our Porter came to us and threw down about 20 swizzle sticks in every color available. To us this was like winning the lottery. We were absolutely thrilled, and remember the Porter smiling at my mother.
When we were settled in California those swizzle sticks were like trophies to my brother and me, and through four moves, two apartments and finally buying two nice homes, those colorful sticks remained with us. And now here I am at my mother's new home, and those swizzles sticks are still here. Somehow there are not as many, but I sure am glad that we still have a few left.
Sometimes the little kindnesses that we do in our lives touch others in ways that are substantial. Its too bad that I could not tell that kind Porter just how much his thoughtfulness meant to us. But its something I think about today when I have the opportunity to go out of my way for others. Perhaps when I am doing something kind for someone it will be a sweet memory for them the way that Porter's friendship was to me.
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I write many Hebpages on various subjects including classic Hollywood and vintage everything. I also hubs on business, investing and various ways of generating income. I have also published books, and numerous articles online. Links to many of my pages can be found at the above address. Sincerely, Skarlet