Tag Archives: Luther Vandross

Thursday, October 9, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago



Good morning.

I’m on the 8:30AM into the City. This blog is coming full circle.
I started this travelogue two years ago, on advise from two dear friends of mine. One was a literary magazine editor in am past life; the other is a financial reporter. They both saw my original Facebook posts about my train rides as “Studs Terkel-ish, everyman observations” and convinced me, at a college homecoming in 2012, to move the effort to the blogosphere.

Now, I’m on a commuter train inbound to Union Station to catch a connecting Amtrak train to my Alma Mater. One of the realizations of that 2012 visit was that my wife and kids noticed a new energy from me. A spring in my step. So, since 2012, I’ve been taking a four night, three day “constitutional” every October. Today is the first day of this year’s annual pilgrimage.

I can’t help but notice that this is an off-peak, “cattle car” train, which makes more stops (every stop?) along this line. I am used to the constancy of the express trains, where once you are on, you can’t get off until the end of the line.

Sitting two seats in front of me is Conan O’Brian of talkshow fame, except that this fellow is 92 years young. His once Scotch-Irish jawline is now jowled. He didn’t shaved today, so there’s a rugged look about the wrinkles around his mouth. He is aurally fixated with his iCrackerBot, in that he is connected to the device via ear buds. He does not look inspired by the media feeding his eyes and ears, as it is evident he is watching a video.

Behind him, there is an Indo-American fellow who looks EXACTLY like Luther Vandross from the 1970’s, complete with a jet black coif of hair, a trimmed mustache and a good watch. He’s wearing a brown leather jacket. Luther Singh is asleep, his bejeweled hand in a fist so as to balance that tired, but gorgeously groomed, head in rhythmic slumber.

I will blog some more from the Amtrak. Also here are a Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Reese Witherspoon and Lou Ferrigno. All are armed.

Happy Thursday. Safe Travels.

Friday, October 10, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago


Good morning. On the 7:20AM into the City. Day Eleven of US Shutdown. Well it’s a partial shutdown.

So now, the emphasis is on the partial shutdown. Not a complete shutdown. Non-essential services are still shut. FEMA for example. Food Inspectors. Many of those that ARE on the job are working for no pay because they have been drafted into service. I wonder how my pro-business friends would feel about working for free because their bosses are fighting but they told you you have to work for free or suffer dire consequences? There was a word for that in the mid-1800’s, still used today…what was it?

Anyway. Enough about my indignation. Teri Polo is here. I think she likes me. I say this because nowadays when she sees me, she smiles and says hello and, before going into silent-but-deadly mode, makes a remark about the weather or the draft in the train car. Familiarity. How nice!

Luther Vandross is here. The big beautiful baritone is sitting across the aisle. Its Friday and he’s going to his day job, so yes got on jeans and a striped button-down shirt. A green windbreaker covers the ensemble. He’s reading a book – a real book! – about jazz music. I’m hoping that he finishes with his day job, goes home, changes into. A sequenced, spandex disco suit and goes out and gigs every Friday. That’s where he really enjoys his work. Go Luther!

A frighting woman is sitting behind Teri Polo. She is the real-life embodiment of an aged up cabbage patch doll. She reminds me a bit of the bank teller woman from Minnesota that John Malkovic has to kill in “In the Line of Fire.” Or, a well dressed female version of Sam Kenison. She’s in a Sunday’s best peach outfit. I really need to wash my brain now.

Right. Not a well populated train today. Also here are Anderson Cooper, Patton Oswald, Andy Dick, Julie Kavner, and Mos Def. All are armed.

Talks. Both sides talked. I hope the POTUS and the SOTHOROTUS figured it out. We look stupid.

Oh. I will be on a special train next Thursday – back to the beginning of this adventure – and off the map next Friday.

Happy Friday. Safe Travels.