Posts Tagged ‘Ray Martin’

Letter From New York 07 31 15 A very Hudson sort of day…

July 31, 2015

At this moment I am sitting on my deck; the creek is mirror still and once more reflecting the foliage in all its green majesty. The day threatened to be agonizingly hot but turned out to be rather mild, humidity low, air clean and fresh. I sat on the deck and read, had a conference call while sipping lemonade. It was an idyllic kind of day.

Last night’s party for Ray, our conductor, was an outstanding success. Forty or so of the “Empire Regulars” showed up for the event. A beautiful cake was presented to him that had “Thank you for riding Amtrak” in icing on it. My “Ray Martin” cocktail was well received and there were some grand food offerings. We took over the unused café car and made it party central.

We forced Ray to give a little speech and he did so graciously. Most of the “Empire Regulars” get off in Rhinebeck but they rode on to Hudson and we took a group shot of all of us at the Hudson Station. Then the Rhinebeck riders leapt onto a southbound train and headed home!

It was a great success and a tremendous send off for Ray. I am totally delighted I could be there and be part of it.

Usually I don’t drive to the train station. I like to leave my car at the house so it looks like I’m there. When coming in on Monday, I did drive to the station but completely forgot. My friend James gave me a lift home and only then did I think: where is my car? At the station!

So this morning, I took a taxi into the Hudson, down to the train station to retrieve my car. Unlike New York, you often share a cab here with others. This morning there was a couple on their way to the Laundromat. They were obviously friends with the young woman driving. I had an interesting fifteen minutes of insight into their lives, full of drama, threats, and machinations. It was amazing. When I got out of the taxi, I told them I hoped all their stories had happy endings. The young man wished the same for me. There were complicated relationships with everyone knowing everyone else and everyone seeming to be related. It was dizzying and a little frightening.

After retrieving my car, I stopped at Relish, the little restaurant across from the Train Station, and had breakfast. There, too, was drama, all the employees gathered around one of them, giving her advice on how to handle her romantic situation, whatever it was.

I was beginning to think that this was going to be the theme of the day.

It hasn’t been. I took my car to be serviced, returned home after collecting the mail and have been cuddled by the beauty at the cottage for the rest of the day. In about an hour, I will head down to Hudson for a light dinner and then home to continue reading the book I’m engaged in.

Speaking of Hudson, Forbes had an article recently about the reasons you should come here. Below is the link for the article if you’re interested.

I have not been to Fish and Game. It’s been reviewed by my friends as a little over the top pricey, very good but has always seemed a little pretentious for my taste. I should give it a try and make my own opinion.

The sun is a golden orb behind me and I am winding down, getting ready for dinner. I have not commented on the world situation. It is too beautiful a day. I want a moment’s respite from the trials and tribulations of the world. Surrounding me are a couple of acres of the most beautiful places on earth and I am inhaling them right now.

If possible, the creek is even more mirror like and I am surrounded by the sounds of birds and soft jazz on the stereo. It is a perfect way to slide into a weekend.

I hope your Friday has been as delicious as mine.

Letter From New York 07 30 15 A party on the train and a missing dentist…

July 30, 2015

The moment I stepped out of the apartment this morning, my glasses steamed up. It was that kind of day. Stopping at CVS to pick up prescription, I exited into a torrential downpour. I stood for ten to fifteen minutes getting a cab, while balancing a suitcase, knapsack and CVS bag before one arrived.

The reason I was weighted down with all this “stuff” is that tonight is July 30th and I was appointed bartender for tonight’s Empire Regulars’ Retirement party for Ray, one of the most beloved conductors on the Empire Service. I think tomorrow is his last day; today is his last time conducting on one of our regular trains.

Emails have been racing back and forth all day about who was going to bring what…

Cheese and crackers and cold meats and Italian sausages, soft drinks and my “Ray Martin” drink, a concoction of limeade, seltzer, ice, and vodka, topped by a maraschino cherry.

It’s been my job for nearly ten years this fall to come up with a signature drink for our train parties. I did “Baby ‘Tinis” for a baby shower, held for a couple of regulars having their first child. One was pink; one was blue. They had opted not to know the sex of their child so I did one for each possibility. For a Halloween party, I created a “Pumpkin Tini” and so it has gone for all these years.

Ray has been great to all of us and we want to send him off in our signature style, a party on the train.

Not very much a party was Gay Pride in Israel. An ultra-Orthodox Jew named Yishai Schlissel stabbed six people in the Pride Parade. Just a few weeks ago, he was released from prison, having served his time for stabbing three people in the 2005 Pride Parade.

The plane part found on Reunion Island, a French territory in the Western Indian Ocean, is being closely examined to make sure that it is truly from a 777. If it is, it is probably from MH 370, as there are no other missing 777’s. There is no desire to give friends and relatives of the flight’s passengers anything but 100% certainty.

Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati policeman, has been charged with murder of a black man, Sam Dubose, after he shot Dubose following a stop for a missing license plate. Tensing was wearing a body camera. The Cincinnati prosecutor has called it “senseless and asinine.” Tensing has pleaded not guilty and is held under a million-dollar bail.

The Greek Debt Crisis continues roiling. Tsipras is being confronted by the far left of his party and he has thrown down the gauntlet to them. Germany wants the IMF to be part of the bail out. The IMP says not right now; it wants to know Greece can succeed. Who knows what will happen?

Tsipras remains incredibly popular, even after his U turn. He seems refreshing to the Greek populace, so used to career politicians.

Walter Palmer, the Bloomington, Minnesota dentist who has brought down the world’s wrath by killing Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, has disappeared. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officials have been relentlessly attempting to contact him. It’s not the first time they’ve been in touch with him. There was an incident a few years ago here in the States.

No success. Silent as a tomb, where some people would like him to be.

But if I am going to be successful at tonight’s party, it’s time for me to finish this and head for Penn Station to join my fellow revelers. Shhhh! It’s a surprise.