I am a part of my upbringing. And those places that I lived have helped to shape who I am today. I think part of my creativity comes from my childhood situation. We were poor, no doubt, but so was everyone in our neighborhood. As kids, we didn't think much about it. And those tracks, they were cool. Not many kids could tell their teacher what a freight train looked like up close. But we could. Very few of our classmates could explain and imitate the awesome sound of the train engine as it chugged down the tracks. Sometimes they were so close to us we could literally reach out and touch them. And that was so cool.
We developed a friendship with the engineer and the old guy that sat at the back of the caboose and threw change to us as the final cars cleared our neighborhood. While he waved good-bye to us we waited for the train to clear and then scampered onto the tracks to collect the coins. It wasn't much, but it was enough for us to buy and share a cold soda.
Waking up on a warm, brilliant summer day as the sun cleared the east and burned off the morning dew to the sounds of the bells and horn as the engineer backed the freight cars into the the paper mill was an event that all children should have been able to experience. So, while our everyday financial situation wasn't optimal, our daily experiences were rich.
I don't imagine anyone who lived in our neighborhood, way back then, will forget those wonderful sights and sounds. It's just impossible to do. And if they are like me, today, when they watch a movie or a program, or see a photo of an old train, it will take them back to our old neighborhood. You know, the one down by the tracks.