Train to San Antonio

I am on my way to the annual conference for the National League of Cities. It’s one of my favorite conferences because you learn a lot seeing what other cities are doing or struggling with and you get a chance to compare notes with your peers on the whole thing and what it all means.

Since I have the time I decided to take Amtrak. Planes have serious issue on the climate change front, but they are also a qualitatively different thing experientially. Of course there’s just more of it time wise but you also get a feel for just how far you are from home.

You meet people, retirees mostly. A lot of younger riders but they’re not at the dining car getting seated in random groups. I had breakfast and lunch with well traveled retirees coming home from North Carolina looking for someone else to talk to.

Trump voters they were disillusioned with “DT” as they called him for his lack of follow through on infrastructure. The constant lies and now his high crimes and misdemeanors. It gives me hope to see a former Trump voter so decisively turned.

The other great part about Amtrak is getting off the train. We were running late and I’ve not been a smoker for 10+ years so I had been comfortably immersed in the train since we left St Louis last night until I got out in Fort Worth where we’ve been for close to an hour.

It was nice to get a little look at it though I didn’t go far. They have an intermodal transportation hub next to the University of Texas Arlington.

It’s into the sun but you get the idea. There are some warehouses around and it seems like a nice area. They had a sign that detailed the African American history of Ft. Worth.

Columbia is doing a lot of documentation and signage around our African American heritage. If Ft. Worth is like Columbia it’s African American history has to be retroactively documented because of a long period of systematic destruction by the white power structure. For us in Columbia it was urban renewal and the siting of Providence Road. The neighborhood and the thriving black business district was destroyed. In Columbia in 1950 5% of businesses were owned by African Americans and now it is a fraction of a percent. I don’t know the Ft Worth story but I bet it’s similar.

I thought it was cool that the first black businessman was a blacksmith named Pratt because my brother just found an obituary and our Great Great Grandfather was a blacksmith named Pratt who moved to Kansas.

The rest of the murals were equally interesting:

The train affords time to get settled on the road. To lay back with your eyes closed in St. Louis and wake up to a Texarkana sunrise. It’s pretty country through north into Central Texas with a lot of wooded wetlands in soft russets and browns and a tour of the backyard of America.

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