Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Love Train

We are busy, busy, busy writing the scripts for our on-air stories, and already feeling a little sad that virtually everything we collected won't be able to make it onto the radio. We gathered pages and pages of transcriptions from our interviews, but have to be choosy about what makes it into those precious few minutes. We want to take advantage of this blog as a space to share some of those stories with you.
Towards the end of our train ride to Raton from Lamar we met Dorothy Zipperle and Jean Heckman from Louisville, Kentucky. They've taken this ride together from Chicago all the way to Los Angeles "umpteen times," and have toured all over the United States on Amtrak trains. These women have been friends for over 30 years. "I'm a new first widow, and she's one, so we just started pairing off," Heckman explained, "We used to go with our husbands and now we just go with each other."

Zipperle, in yellow, and Heckman, in red, spoke with us in the lounge car of the Southwest Chief.
Zipperle said what they love most about the train is the ability to relax and take your time traveling, and the camaraderie among riders. "Everyone is so friendly," she said, "And no matter where you're from you have something to talk about. You talk about the view, you talk about traveling."
Zipperle and Heckman both agreed that the view from the Southwest Chief through Colorado and New Mexico is irreplaceable. "You two are in the next generation," Heckman told us, "And just look at what you're seeing. Maybe this is your first time. It's history." For Heckman and Zipperle, the Southwest Chief is an opportunity to spend time with each other and watch some of the most beautiful scenery in the world go by right outside the window.
Stay tuned for more little profiles of folks we met on the train. These interviews were some of our favorites-- they gave us the best insight into how important this train is to so many of its riders.

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