My grandmother made oatmeal with raisins in a double boiler, which she started the night before. Super creamy. Adding dark brown sugar and fresh whole milk from the local dairy to boot.
I loved going to stay with Grandma. It was always a holiday. But, oatmeal wasn't the only special on the menu.
A main spur of the Pennsylvania railroad went right up Third Street, less than a football field away from Grandma's sleeping porch. In the middle of the night, every visit, Mr. Peabody's coal train would rumble through town. The house would actually shake as the massive steam turbines chugged along beside the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to the coal fired power plants that lined the valleys to the East. The engine's whistle is still in my head.
I was nuts for trains. My mother's father was a station manager for the New York Central railroad outside Buffalo. The newer diesels were running that line with passengers instead of coal. Grandpa messaged the speeding trains with a forked wooden device just longer than a tennis racket — he was that close!
Gabe Iikes trains, too. We remember him as a child, coming to the Opera House to perform in his railroader outfit. He was very young but totally dedicated. It suited him then, and little has changed. Get him within the sound of an engine or within sight of puffing coal smoke and rails and you can bet he will stop traffic. Now he plays guitar and sings in ways we could never have imagined. Gabe brings the same passion he demonstrated as a youngster.
He's got the whistle, keep an eye on the smoke. It’s been an interesting journey. The train is only just leaving the station. Good luck G-man.