My First And Last Time On A Train

It’s not what you would expect

Henery X


Deb Palmer I said if I wrote this I would tag you. I’m a man of my word.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Some experiences leave reminders that make them easy to remember.-Henery X

My First And Last Time On A Train

2023, Henery X ©

This is a true story. Only the name of the guy I was with will be fictional.

In the early ‘80s, I had landed a great job at a factory in Hamtramck, Michigan. The factory made parts for mini vans, primarily the sliding side doors. I didn’t have a vehicle, so my means of transportation was of the public variety. Hamtramck is twenty minutes from Detroit by bus.

The only person I really knew at the factory was a guy from the neighborhood I was living in, Alan. We had established a rapport long before we were blessed with our positions. Though we didn’t hang out much outside of work, when we saw each other, we’d always talk about this and that.

One night, our supervisor asked us to work overtime. This would be great. My seventeen-year-old mind thought, “Who doesn’t like to add a little more to their paycheck,” but there was one problem. By the time we got off from work, the bus wouldn’t be running. So, instead of a twenty minute bus ride home, we’d have to walk for well over an hour. Although we knew we’d have to walk home, we decided that we’d do the overtime. The thought of money at times has a way of blinding your better judgement.

As our workday was done, we both regretted agreeing to do the overtime and solely because we were exhausted and would need to use what energy we had left to walk home.

As we were walking away from the factory, Alan had a bright idea.

“Hey, Hen’ (my nickname in the streets). Let’s hop on the next train,” Alan said.

“Hop on the next train? The nearest train station is over where we live.”

“We don’t need to be at no station. Once it arrives, we can hop on it and ride it until we get closer to the hood.”

“Man, you sound crazy. I’ve never been on the inside of a train, and now you want me to ride on the outside of one?”