Part Two of my big adventure in NYC
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. Is it the end or just the beginning? I’ll start this week where I left off in my last column. First up, a little history as to my location. It’s called the PATH train system and the line I was riding on goes under the waters of the Hudson River that separate New York and New Jersey. The train travels through a tunnel of cast iron tubes that are over one hundred years old. As I found out from a website devoted to the New York subway system, the “tubes” were designed by Dwight Haskins. Construction began in 1874 and the system was officially opened to the public on February 25, 1908. This was the first tunnel to be built under a major river in the country.
Here I was standing in a packed subway car carrying at least one hundred and fifty people under ninety-seven feet of water wrapped in a tube that was older than my great granddad. There was an unconscious person hanging onto me and I was basically lost in New York City.
I was on my own now as my new friend wasn’t talking when the car doors opened at Union Station. This was the stop where we had gotten on at the beginning of our journey and if I could only get him through the automatic doors before they slammed shut I would at least know where I was. I yelled out several times “I have a sick man here!” as I made my way through the crowd. Most people seemed reluctant to give way although fortunately one man standing by the doors kept them open for us. As the train’s emergency buzzers began to sound because the doors had been open so long several people suggested sitting him down but I knew I could not leave him on this train to go on to unknown destinations in a semi-conscious condition. Finally after what seemed like forever the crowd parted in front of us like the waters in the bible but three flights of stairs leading to the street lay directly in front of me.
The air we were breathing was very hot again and as the subway roared off even the breeze it created felt good. Apparently the hot air was good for my friend too as he spoke his first words since telling me he felt faint aboard the train earlier. We had to get up those stairs and into some fresh air. Upon my command, with his arms around my neck and with my firm grip on his belt, we managed to climb the three flights and by the time we reached street level I go see a definite improvement in his condition. We walked three blocks to his building and took the elevator to his apartment where I made sure he started drinking water immediately. An hour later I was ready for my own two hour train trip back to the Cos Cob station in Connecticut where I had started out. It had been quite a day!
I’ll end this two part story with a pair of suggestions. One: always drink plenty of water whether it is a hot day or not, our bodies need it. Two: never give up on your dreams. This big time publisher and writer didn’t start off this way. His is a story of working from the ground up and his roots stretch back to Miami, Oklahoma.
Yes, Robert Wyatt is an Okie who got his start right here, working for the Tulsa World. Now a New Yorker for over fifty years, he is living proof that you can make your dreams a reality.
Onward. This time of year always means camping for me. When you’re traveling on the interstates, the road signs will list not only motels and restaurants but also campgrounds and local attractions many of which offer their own campsites. Big RVs and fifth wheels are nice, especially in bad weather, but usually its tent camping for me. Equipment is cheap and with a tent you can stay in spots where you can’t take a big vehicle. Conditions this time of year are perfect for being outdoors so if you can get out and try it. Here’s one more scoop for the week. Through the years I’ve told you about many campgrounds around the country and closeby but this week I’m going a little further out. If you like peace and quiet and some good fishing try Lake Parsons. Just about two and a half hours away, the fee for a tent site is only $5 a night, the restrooms are clean and the camp hosts are wonderful. The lake is 980 acres and is surrounded by 1,000 acres of public use land. Lake Parsons is just 8 miles outside of Parsons, Kansas and you can’t go wrong.
Till next week, and hoping you’re having a great fall, I’ll see ya down the road……