En Route to the RPA Meetings.
It’s Sunday evening here in Hawaii when I’m posting this. Early tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Washington, DC, and the annual Spring meeting of the Rail Passengers Association.
As usual, I’m taking an indirect route. The first leg is an Hawaiian Airlines flight from here to Portland, Oregon. I’ll spend tomorrow night there, then take Amtrak up to Seattle on Tuesday. Dinner that night will be with a cousin and his wife at Assaggio’s, my most favorite Italian restaurant anywhere.
Wednesday afternoon I’ll be aboard the eastbound Empire Builder en route to Chicago. Among other things, I’ll be interested in talking with the crew to get their reaction to someone’s decision to annul that train at least once in the past few weeks because it was felt there was the likelihood that the train could become snowbound. Every knowledgable person I know has scoffed at that decision which was—fairly or unfairly— laid at the doorstep of Amtrak President Richard Anderson.
Train 8 will get me to Chicago on Friday afternoon when, it turns out, both the Cubs and the White Sox are unfortunately out of town. Saturday I’ll be on the Capitol Limited along with at least two other RPA directors and no doubt a number of other members also on the way to attend our annual Spring meeting. As time permits, I will do my best to report on people and events encountered along the way that could be of interest.
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to note the passing of Daniel Kahikina Akaka at the age of 93. He was first elected to Congress in 1976 where he served until appointed to the Senate in 1990 following the death of Senator Spark Matsunaga. Dan retired from the Senate in 2012 after serving in that body for 22 years. Being in the presence of this kind and gentle man, if only for a few minutes, provided an insight into the true meaning of Aloha and made you think about being a better human being. Especially in these times, Dan Akaka will be sorely missed.