THE ROARIN’ ELGIN. Vikki Ortiz had a nice article in the Chicago Tribune about the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad, which brought my father and other commuters into Chicago when I was a boy. The article says that the railroad was known to its passengers as the CA&E. Maybe so, but I always heard it referred to as the “Roarin’ Elgin.” One passenger reminisces that “It was a very unique way to travel, it was almost like riding on a carnival ride.” As a boy who was scared of heights, I experienced trips on the Roarin’ Elgin as being like a carnival ride. The cars hung out slightly over the elevated tracks, giving a troubling sensation if I thought too much about the view out the window. The trips were happy trips, nevertheless, and I treasured my mother’s smile which I knew meant that she was enjoying our happiness. Most of the trips to Chicago were to the dentist. My mother chose a dentist some distance away because the Brookfield Zoo had relied on him when they had animals with tooth problems. We could choose a treat in Chicago when we went to the dentist. My brother and I always chose a museum, especially the Museum of Science and Industry, which featured a coal mine (more accurately, a realistic mockup of a coal mine). My sister always voted for shopping, much to our puzzlement and disapproval.

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3 Responses to THE ROARIN’ ELGIN.

  1. Elmer says:

    I think Mary wanted to go to Marshall Field to ride the escalators.

  2. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    Elmer, that’s what I heard too. Have all these years of being married to me corrupted Phil’s memory into associating a department store with shopping?

  3. Pingback: OVALTINE. | Pater Familias

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