Cleveland Metroparks Train Day 2010

Yes­ter­day Bram and I spent most of the after­noon at Whiskey Island, fly­ing an owl kite, and get­ting the lit­tle bear com­fort­able play­ing in the waters of Lake Erie. He enjoyed his “swim­ming” les­son. The dude is also a chick mag­net, as evi­denced by the fol­low­ing pho­to.

Abraham & the Cleveland Skyline (Not to Scale)

I took Bram to Train Day today. I intend­ed to take him to the Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Father­hood Ini­tia­tive’s day at the zoo, but a time­ly Face­book tip as we were head­ing out the door changed my plans. Abra­ham pret­ty much woke up demand­ing trains today, so I was hap­py to oblige.

The Cleve­land Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reser­va­tion is part of the Tow­path Trail and is amaz­ing­ly pic­turesque. Pret­ty much right in the heart of Cuya­hoga Coun­ty too.

The event remind­ed a bit of the Old Time Music Fes­ti­val that I took Bram to in Meta­mo­ra, IN last year. The whole of Meta­mo­ra is still his­toric, and they’ve got an old big black steam engine and a canal boat that you can take rides on. It’s even got a func­tion­ing water-wheel-turned grist mill. The Ohio & Erie Canal Reser­va­tion has the canal, but no boat or train. There was old-timey music though, and I sang along to The Wabash Can­non­ball twice.

Train Day had no up close and per­son­al actu­al trains, but lots of mod­el trains, a hobo trail with real live hobos, a com­plete­ly awe­some Lego train exhib­it, and the chance to get right up close to a marsh and spy on some blue herons. Abra­ham had almost as good a time as I did. My good times always exceed his because see­ing him have a good time increas­es my enjoy­ment expo­nen­tial­ly.

We ate an apple with with a hobo named Apple Annie, sat on a bench and ate choco­late fudge ice cream, col­ored a but­ton and looked at trains six ways from Sun­day. It helped that the tres­tle had CSX trains run­ning across it every half hour as well.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I have no pho­tos or video because, although I brought my cam­era, my mem­o­ry card was else­where.

All in all, a good Father’s Day week­end, so far. The dude conked out on the way home from Train Day and is cur­rent­ly snor­ing on my bed. Being a dad is the most ful­fill­ing thing I’ve ever done.

Boxcar Rockstar

The old man has no teeth
two shoes but no laces,
an incom­plete look in his eyes.

He plays a gui­tar
with only five strings.

I imag­ine him tour­ing,
coal pile to steel mill.

Dur­ing the long nights he watch­es
for the glow of anoth­er town
and rubs the spray-paint­ed
door of his box­car.

Before sleep he pats his gui­tar
and thinks about a pair of socks.