You remove your small, plastic Ziploc bag with its three ounce liquid contents from the bin on the conveyor belt and stuff it into your overstuffed carry-on bag. Bag wheeling along, you pass the stores selling Phillies and Eagles and Flyers and Sixers shirts and hats and jerseys and knickknacks en route to your departure gate. You think about your Phillies, the oldest one-name, one-city team in American professional sports history.
“He friended me on facebook after I just met him Thursday night and I barely know the guy. . . .”
“Did you see that tweet from LeBron about the Cleveland fan in Miami who. . . .”
You unintentionally overhear bits and pieces of conversation and wonder about simpler times, when people met in person to see each other’s faces and information spread by newspaper and radio.
Your plane boards and you take your seat and chew some gum and read Fitzgerald. Your eyes close and open and close again until they remain shut as you fall into a peaceful sleep.
You awaken to the sound of a loud whistle blowing. The passengers all around you rustle and bustle to deplane and you’re puzzled by their new, old fashion: men wearing top hats and suits and women like flappers with bobbed hair and hobble skirts. You nearly jump out of your seat when you realize you’re on a train, not a 747.
You stand and see that you’re dressed like everyone else and your bag is not a black nylon wheelie type, but rather a brown leather attaché case with a flap and buckles. The hundred bucks you had in your pocket is now only ten and the money looks different.
In a state of shock, you follow the crowd off the train and walk down from the once famous viaduct, the Chinese Wall, to street level and stare at buildings you know to have been demolished many years ago. Standing on Market Street, you dreamily admire what was once the world’s largest railroad passenger terminal, Broad Street Station.
“I met him at that new speakeasy you told me about last Thursday and he came calling just the very next day. . . .”
“That darn George Kelly and his Giants beat our Phillies again yesterday. . . .”
You do your best to eavesdrop on people’s conversations as you gaze in all directions, your eyes now frantically searching all corners, amazed. Something inside says you won’t be here for long, so you want to make the most of it. If given a choice, you might stay forever.
(For info and a photo of Broad Street Station, click here)