Sometimes a Gift Can Be the Shirt Off Your Back.
This past August, my wife and I spent 10 days visiting fabulous British Columbia. It’s Canada’s westernmost province and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in North America.
Our itinerary included VIA Rail’s train, the Skeena, which runs between Jasper, just over the border in Alberta, and Prince Rupert, a port city on the Pacific Ocean.
We were relaxing up in the glass dome atop the Skeena’s lounge car when a tall rugged-looking man appeared and asked how we were enjoying the trip. To my surprise, it turned out he was one of the engineers. (For the record, in addition to the assistant engineer, there was also a dead-heading engineer up in the locomotive, so no safety rules were being violated.)
At any rate, during an interesting 20-minute conversation with him, I couldn’t help admiring his shirt … a handsome short-sleeved knit job with the VIA Rail logo just above the pocket. But what really caught my eye were the embroidered words:
Mécanicien de Locomotive
Can you imagine being a rail fan and walking around with that on your shirt? And in two languages, no less! I said as much and he laughed, but said that those shirts were only for VIA engineers and not for sale to the public.
We chatted a bit longer, then he stood and announced that we were coming to a stop and he had to go back to work. Before he left the dome, he asked me if I had a business card and I gave him one.
Two days ago, a small package arrived. It was from Canada and, when I opened it, I found one of those shirts inside … and the magical words are right there on the front.
Eat your hearts out, fellas!