Several of us crazy folks carpooled from Wichita, Ks to the small town of Pratt, Ks with the hopes of finding treasure at the end of the rainbow. We were all desperate for money for our own private reasons. Standing in the sun for 11 hours straight the first day and 9 for the second, we didn’t dare fail at our job. Instead of detailed schooling, we relied on instruction, wits, common sense, kindness, honor, and love to protect the public. The Railroad workers scurried about, installing their new technologically advanced system alerting traffic of the upcoming trains. While the system acted squirrely, we stopped the public from crossing the tracks. There were times that we protected the oblivious workers from being run over by angry drivers, irritated that their routine had been jacked.
Oh, my. Road rage? Serously? You all could have been hit by a train and you all have the nerve to get mad at us for protecting you? So instead of closing roads down to protect you, you just want us to rip off the barriers and let you get hit?
Then, we were greeted by kind souls, giving us good cheer or cool bottles of water. There’s hope in the world! Human kind is not lost. This is not Hell on Earth.
Several drivers pumped up the music. Drivers had been leery and confused until the afternoon on the first day, but we had earned our title as ‘family’ in their neighborhood by the evening. You know me. The hardest part about standing still: is standing still. I couldn’t help it! I danced, loudly sang, acted, performed, all while lighting a beacon of hope for my coworkers and drivers. I passed the stop sign as a baton to a coworker while getting giggles from the drivers waiting for the train.
Without the train, I danced the Macarena until some folks laughed, but a poor ignorant soul thought I was using sign language to direct traffic! Other drivers rounded the block to watch me dance and loudly complained when I didn’t. One gal ordered us to use her swimming pool. I turned, plunked down my sign, and acted as though I was running to her house. I don’t know who was laughing harder: the stranger or my coworkers! I bought the round of slushies for my entire crew of 7 on the first day but was blessed by a slushy on the second day.
The songs we sang:
I’ve been working on the railroad
Long Black Train
Boogie Woogie Choo choo train
This Is How We Do It
Walk It Out
Stop in the Name of Love
Henry the eight
This is the song That never ends
Meant to Be
I’m Sexy and I know It
What A Man
Papa Loved Mama
Several drivers were so comfortable on their road that they were texting and driving, almost bulldozing us down. We discovered irritated drivers when we stopped them and they tried to run us over. This is a huge lack of respect for people trying to do a public service. Rail road workers, utility workers, and phone men all tell tales of adventures of missing death by oblivious or obnoxious drivers. Suddenly, the malfunctioning rail road arms, dropped down without a train. A vehicle ran into it and blamed every rail road crossing guard and workers for something completely out of their control. We were risking our lives to not only protect and serve the people, but for money to pay our bills. We weren’t and aren’t drug dealers, so why the road rage? Why the hate? We were and are just ordinary folks just like you!
One grandma stopped and asked me of my gregarious nature and intentions. It’s nothing you have not read from me before.
One cannot rely on others to be a blessing. Be a blessing yourself and provide a diamond in the rough. Remember to Live, Learn, Love and Laugh Again. Although, she didn’t expect something so profound, her grandchildren’s eyes lit with the knowledge I passed to them.