Monday, March 14, 2011

Ten Year Old Loses Brother on Train

In the late 60’s / or early 70’s…either way, I was barely 10 years old…my brother (who is 12 years older than me) would take me to all the 4 major sports via the subway. We lived in Yonkers, so we would normally drive to the Bronx and pick it up there (238th on the #1, or Woodlawn on the #4). My brother would always drill into me about being safe on the subway…you know, what to do and what not to do. One particular important “plan” was that if I got on the subway but my brother didn’t, I was to ride to the next stop, get off, stay EXACTLY where I got off the subway and for him to arrive.

Sometimes we wouldn’t take the most direct route from point-a to point-b…we’d get a little creative so we could ride different lines. I think this may be where I became a NYC subway railfan…

We were again on our way to a Mets game, and I remember we were switching from the D at 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Ctr, to the E or F out to Roosevelt Ave to switch to the Flushing line. I remember nearing the stairway down to the E/F platform and I could hear a train rolling in. I started to run because it could have been our train (c’mon, I didn’t want to miss Tommy Agee taking batting practice!).

Sure enough it was, I ran down the stairs, and hopped on to the again somewhat crowded train. Happy I made it, I turned around for my brother, and there he was standing on the platform…smiling, and waving to me as the doors closed! I panicked for a few seconds, but I remembered what he told me…so I turned back around to the rest of the car and all the people looking at me, and I remember saying, “It’s ok folks…I know what to do”. I got of at the next stop (5th Ave)…and didn’t BUDGE until the next subway arrived. Sure enough, there was my brother standing behind the door that stopped directly in front of me! Yeah, I was a bit scared…but I knew and trusted my brother so I knew he’d be there. I’m sure this is something you wouldn’t do to a 10-year-old THESE days!!

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