Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kenilworth Train Station

My ride takes me past Kenilworth's Metra Station. It is an historic old station built sometime between the American Revolution and the Vietnam War. It is really convenient for travellers because it is merely steps from the train tracks.

The summer between junior high and high school, tragedy struck my classmate Jeff. While attending summer football at New Trier our bike route took us over the tracks at Kenilworth Avenue. I was just north of the station that was packed with morning commuters but still within earshot of the trains and bells. As I peddled I heard a slight roar as if from a crowd. I was momentarily perplexed but rode on.

About an hour later I was in the school's weight room when another classmate told me that Jeff had been killed by a train. Jeff was waiting at the crossing for a northbound train to pass and biked around the pedestrian gates into the path of a southbound express in full view of the crowded platform.

What strikes me as odd now is the lack of shock and sadness I felt upon hearing the news. Besides my mother, who had died violently five years earlier, Jeff was the only other person I personally knew that died unexpectedly. I guess if Jeff and I had been friends rather than just acquaintances, I might have been more affected. I knew his parents from grade school basketball games and I remember thinking how devastated his tough guy type dad must have been.

Overcast, muggy and a steady breeze from the southwest.

Distance Traveled: 24.7 miles
Distance to Date: 150.9 miles
Price of Gas: $3.31

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