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"Here Comes Uncle Chuck!"

Story ID:9005
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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“Here Comes, Uncle Chuck!”
By Chuck Dishno

In 1968 my Mom was living in an apartment in Fresno. My Pop had been gone for 9 years and Mom was living a comfortable life as a widow. I lived about 3 blocks away and she got a yearly visit from my two brothers, Shad and Bud.

This year, though, Shad had used up all his vacation and wouldn’t be able to make his usual visit. Mom was really looking forward to seeing him and with our urging, we talked her into going to San Antonio where Shad worked for the Lone Star Brewery.

Mom had taken one other trip to San Antonio by Greyhound Bus and wasn’t looking forward to repeating that experience. We agreed with her and since flying was out, the only other way was by train.

This was great with Mom as she had ridden many trains in her life and was looking forward to riding one again.

Fresno had a Southern Pacific station and with just one transfer in Los Angles, she could ride all the way to Texas in less than 3 days. Remembe,r these were days before Amtrak and in the golden age of train travel.

Arrangements were made for Shad to pick her up and I purchased the tickets. On a Friday, I drove Mom to the station with her packed suitcases. My niece, Diana and her small daughter came along for the send off.

Mom looked so frail standing beside that huge passenger car and I talked the porter to let me get her seated. I also wanted to see the inside of a train car since leaving for basic training.

After I got Mom seated I glanced out the widow and was horrified to see that the train was moving. I saw a panic look on Mom’s face as I ran to the end of the car. Just as I arrived, I saw the porter putting down the cover to the steps. As he had not closed the gate, I yelled at him to stop, saying, “I have to get off, now!” He looked up just in time to see me make a mighty leap into space. Fortunately the car had not reached the end of the platform and as I was flying through the air, I heard my niece’s daughter yell, “Look, Mom, here comes Uncle Chuck!”

The leap was about 10 feet and I landed hard but kept my balance much to the entertainment of the spectators on the platform as was evidenced by their applause. The only injury to me was a couple of bruised heels and a wounded ego.

Poor Mom, didn’t know what had happened to me and the porter wasn’t about to tell her. The last thing she saw of me was my hasty trip to the end of the car. When she got to Shad’s place she phoned to let me know that the trip was wonderful and she was treated like a queen. When I told her what had happened to me she was glad that she hadn’t been told of my flight through the air.

My feet soon healed and I was back to normal in a week or so. I do believe that on that day, an Angel attached a couple of wings to my back. I hope, someday I can thank that Guardian Angel for the assistance. Maybe someday I will be able to attach a couple of wings to some deserving mortal. I hope so.