21 Long Train Runnin’

by admin on November 7, 2011

Long Train Runnin

The noonday scenery rushed past the window of Alex and Michael Bingham.  In eastern Colorado the landscape is pretty much like Kansas…flat.  With not much to see the boys began to make up stories about their new destination…Lake Neccudah, Colorado.  There must be cowboys there, too.  And lions and bears must be roaming the mountains.  Michael wanted to ride on a horse. Alex, well not so much.  Everything here was so big.  The boys were accustomed to the life of a city under siege during the war.  When air raid sirens weren’t going off they would be playing in the rubble of an old neighbor’s bombed out home.  Bricks, pipes, splintered wood all became makeshift toys.  That was their everyday life.  Nighttime was spent in air raid shelters.  To anyone in the States this was incomprehensible; to these little boys that was just life.  Every day in America was a new adventure of the highest order and they were loving every moment.

Across the aisle the adults were busily engaged in conversation.  Charles and Samuel were most interested in learning about life in England before, during, and after the war.  Eventually, the topic turned to their journey to America.  Samuel knew of the distant relatives in Rockford, Illinois, although he never had contact with them.  What he learned next left him stunned and speechless.  Throughout the last two days it hadn’t dawned on Samuel how the Binghams had come to contact him.  With such a whirlwind of events there was no time for reflection for this man of action.  As Samuel often said, “I’m a doer not a thinker.” (Ironically, this was the self same phrase the Bingham boys had heard their father say for years).

Now with all the commotion subsiding Samuel realized it was his own son, Edward, who had left his granddaughter stranded in this prairie outpost.  As the others carried on in conversation Samuel became lost in thought.  Just as he had abandoned Elizabeth in England so many years before, his son Edward had abandoned his new-found granddaughter here in America.  Anger and guilt welled up inside of him.

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