well hello everyone tonight

Getting to the train was by cutter, right at Christmas time, my uncle Tom doing the honours, he waved as we pulled away, I watched him turn and head back to the farm, bucking the large snow drifts.

Well we seemed to roll along for ever trains at that time stopped at every major and minor place along the route but eventually we crossed over into the USA at Detroit Michigan and then we came to Chicago.

This is where the story becomes weird--My mother wanted to show me the dressed up department store windows as she remembered them in San Francisco where she grew up, and get a good meal at the same time--unfortunately we missed the train which pulled away without us.

At that time there was 2 routes across the US one was the northern route, and the other the southern one, my grandparents expected us to arrive on the northern one, but as I said we missed it and had to catch the southern one instead,--no instant communications then to alert them of the change.

Fate must have been with us because the northern train was in a bad accident and many were injured and some killed, my grandparents were alarmed to say the least when they got the news, and were flabergasted when we arrived on another train later on unexpectedly.

My mother and I often reminisce about how this seemed to happen, as if fate wanted it that way--I seem to think that it was not our time.

One thing that I remember as part of the trip was the train loaded down with young soldiers heading to California to be shipped out to the war raging in Japan, Hawaii, and other locations, many of them knew that it would be a one way ride.

Mother and I rode in a car special for mothers and children but we had to pass through the cars with the soldiers to get to the dining car, and as we passed they would stuff my little pockets with coins--they did alot of gambling on the floor of the coach to pass the time.

I always said as my life unfolded, that there always appeared to be a reason for everything that seemed to happen

Never did I think that someday I would ever be important or lucky enough to be a host to such a wonderful group of professional people, that came to hear what I had to say at Montebello Que, or the gathering at Morrisburg a few years ago, It was a highlight of my career

Having said that, I think that I will sign off for tonight