THIS is our special Christmas greeting.
As Christmas morning arrives, we're reminded that for over a hundred years, the train, the shining steel rails, and the visible warmth of the steam locomotive brought loved ones home for the holidays.
Running day and night through crisp clear air and storm alike, steam whistles and clanging brass bells musically announced their arrival. There's a reason for all those train songs -- they celebrated humanity giving life to machines that also had warmth inside them, made music, sang and breathed.
At Christmas, trains rolled-in with packages and presents and people, all from farther away than was ever before possible, all awaited with excitement, a sense of wonder, and holiday cheer.
Pausing briefly in every town large and small, then continuing onward, steam whistles sang and echoed over the horizon. They celebrated, everywhere, the service they delivered, everywhere. No singularity of disgorgement from a flying cattle car that overwhelms the modern airport and paralyzes routes through cities with hours of highway gridlock. The train station in every town was elemental satisfaction of everyone's need, ready fulfillment of individual freedom and desire, without the bewilderment of being deposited in a distant generic hub after prying your knees from your armpits.
So take a moment and envision the joy of a more spacious age. A time when you ate the best food as the wheels rumbled beneath you. A time when life was happily a journey, not a forced destination to a terminal where you didn't want to be probed and inspected and deposited into a dehumanizing melee and morass.
All aboard for a time when machines worked for humans, instead of the other way around.
Do you know now why you think something's missing without a train going around under your tree?
Best wishes for a fulfilling year ahead.
-- the editor and everyone at the Acoustic Americana Music Guide.
Enjoy the special photo section.
Speaking of traveling, and distance...
At some point today, play this. Both the song and this Chrissie Hynde acoustic performance should be on the short list of modern Christmas classics:
The Pretenders, "2000 Miles"
Oh, by the way. If you need a bit more encouragement as winter arrives, you can take more inspiration from the fortitude of the age of steam and steel. Call the "Snowplow Extra."
And if it piles-up too deep to push it aside, the steam rotary lets you throw it behind you. Pretty cool, huh?
In case you are wondering, "How do they do that NOW?" ...The same way, when High Sierra or Rocky Mountain snowfall gets deep enough. (Sometimes you get lucky enough to see it.)
And, oh, by the way... of all the hundreds of iconic train songs, we have never heard one about the joy and drama of sending snow skyward from the rails. We're not issuing a challenge... just sayin'...
Hope you enjoyed our schussbooma obscura. Just a little proof the past lives in each of us, and the world is still full of wonder!
Our current NEWS & EVENTS edition is a click away, at:
"End of the Year LIVE MUSIC wrap-up. Dec 21 edition 2019"
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"