At the Station

by Grace
California, USA

My mother and father met while they were in the U.S. Army. Dad said he fell in love with her red hair and great gams. They were married six months later and moved to dad’s hometown in California. Mom never liked the town, so several years after he passed away she returned to her beloved Oregon where she lives happily in a small coastal town.

At The StationHer seven children live in California, and miss her terribly but we’re glad she’s so happy to be “back home”. After mom returned to Oregon she tried different transportation methods to visit us — driving, flying, and the train. Her first train trip was so pleasant she tried a second time.

For her return, the train was scheduled to depart at 11:00 p.m. — but left at 12:30 a.m. the following morning. Well into Oregon the train came upon broken tracks due to ice. The passengers were taken off the train and loaded onto buses at about 8:30 p.m.

Via phone calls to the train company, I monitored my 77-year-old mother’s progress, and was upset to learn of the delays. The phone calls were frustrating, to say the least. I finally learned that the passengers on the bus had arrived in Eugene around 11:20 p.m.

I wondered what she would do when she arrived in Eugene in the middle of the night. I was sure she would be wrung out after her 23-hour trip, and wondered how she would get her car. Mom had left her car in a parking lot next to the train station. She had told us that when she departed, “a nice young man took her keys and locked her car”.

Even if she was able to get her car, she still had an hour’s drive home.

When I was finally able to contact her, she said the “nice young man” was standing at the train station waiting for her when the bus arrived at 11:20 p.m.! He had been monitoring the situation and knew she would not be able to get her car. He opened the parking lot, carried her bags to her car, and told her to follow him to a motel, then made sure she got checked in.

I still can’t believe someone did this. This man has a family and it was the middle of the night, yet he met my mother to make sure she got her car and got to a motel safely. I asked mom who he was and where he worked. I called him and thanked him on behalf of our whole family. He acted like it wasn’t a big deal, and was so nice. Well, his wonderful deeds were a very big deal to my mom and all of her very grateful children.

Originally published as HeroicStories #586

6 thoughts on “At the Station”

  1. As a Eugenian, born and raised, I would say that this is not a heroic story. It’s just what we are used to from the service people in town. Come to think of it, it is one, because all of the service folk in Eugene tend to be heroes. Come to visit and see for yourself. Don’t move here though. It’s said all the hippies move to Eugene, because there are no jobs available.

  2. Sorry to hear of her problems, but as for the young man, he is doubtlessly an Oregonian, that’s just the Oregon way. A fellow Oregonian!

  3. Eugene is not one of the friendliest towns in Oregon due to the college and “hippy” folks. However, this young man is really typical of Native Oregon youth. Portland is the same. Find a Native Oregonian and you will find the best there is. I have lived here now for nearly over 60 years. I am considered a Pioneer.

  4. And I know the train companies take care of their passengers, having completed part of a long cross-country Amtrak trip by bus, myself. Part of that trip took us up the Oregon coast, hugging a mountain with a steep dropoff on the other side. A bit scary, but the stop we made in Seattle was a highlight of the trip, and the people we met were all nice and considerate.


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