January 16, 2009

Other Frigid Chicago Days

The table with Rank Temperature Dates in the left column insert revives a memory or two.

#3 -25.0 Dec. 24, 1983 -

Union Station was packed with holiday travelers – we were among the lot. Our train, the Southwest Chief, was delayed as were other trains. The Chief usually departed at 6:00 PM – but that frigid Christmas Eve it finally rolled out at midnight.

The station hadn’t been renovated yet in 1983 and, if anyone remembers, the entrance to the trains was a pretty large open drafty space. We lugged our suitcases to the restrooms and added more layers for the long wait.

The delay wasn’t that the train hadn’t arrived in Chicago – the delay was waiting for the toilets to thaw. We departed that night with one working toilet – on the car we were assigned to! Needless to say, there was a lot of traffic from the lounge car.

Our exit stop was Christmas Day around 6:00 AM. It was one of 3-4 times I missed saying ‘Happy Anniversary’ to my parents in person on Christmas Eve.

1 comment:

Fargo said...

I remember being on the red line on that frigid night in 1983, on my way to a party. Had a bottle of wine with me. There was no heat on the train. By the time I arrived at my destination, the wine was well chilled.