Tom was laughing his butt off after this shoot. Why? He was amused at how I was limping through this shoot on my complete lack of train knowledge. I mean, I know trains insofar as they go choo choo, and they take people and freight from one place or another. But I donít know diddly about diesel engines or, or, or, well, see Ė how can I tell you what I donít know about if I donít know anything about it?
Oh, another item of possible interest is that here in Rochelle was where we initiated the ďWalk Down MainstreetĒ idea. Iíve always said that when I watch travel shows I want to see the streets, the little business section, even the residential areas. Here I always am striving to give the viewer a sense of what it might be like to be there with us in these towns and attractions. So thatís how the idea of taking a stroll down mainstreet with the Mayor (or ex-mayor, in this case) was born. And once again we found that it was more interesting than just a quick sound bite. Alas, we did keep it short here, but at least you got to enjoy that moment when the deafening motorcycle interrupts our chat. Also we got to show you the Hub Theatre, an old movie house thatís still running. Thatís another passion of mine, the old movie theatres. If you know of any around the state, let me know. I canít say weíll be able to put them in the show, but I might just enjoy seeing a movie there.
I kept trying to steer the segment to the hobo part of the story while Tom wanted to get back to the guys who were watching the trains all day, taking notes, keeping track of it all. I liked when we introduced Sunrise, the hobo queen, to the one fellow taking all the notes who said he actually worked for the railroad and ordinarily would be chasing the likes of Sunrise off the yard. I must say too that when Steve Anderson, the man who quoted the hobo poem, talked about the pull of the road and how it gave people who just canít settle down a place to go, I wanted to go too. The road has always been attractive to me, and being right where I am, in the here and now, has always been a challenge. Of course, I think Iíve matured a bit too much for my own hobo good when it comes to actually being at risk of hitting the road and leaving it all behind. Or maybe itís age, or experience. I also love comfort. The idea of the road is far more exhilarating than its reality, I am certain. Still, I got a perspective just in that brief period of time with Sunrise and Steve that I donít think I had before. A kind of melancholy and respect. Many of these folks who just canít settle down donít mean any harm. And in this lifestyle they find comfort and camaraderie with fellow travelers, according to our guests. Hey, itís a big world and people find ways of accommodating their own peculiar needs. Iím glad there are people like you who make it possible for people like me to do my thing in front of the camera.
Footnote: We did see a great old movie house in Metropolis, IL during our walk with the mayor there. Weíll have that one in a future show. Along with the Superman statue and Super Museum.