GHOST TRAIN OF THE SP&S


There's a slantwise building at East Sprague and Crestline --
Three blocks south of where the East Spokane Tower stood,

Those of us old enough to remember
Know it was the Top Hat drive-in -- long since closed for good,

In a fit of fitful slumber, I found myself empowered
With ability to go backward in time,

While rolling and tossing, I relived the brief moment
When I first glimpsed what I call the alter ego line,

I stood, in my dream -- peered thru The Tower's smoky window,
And saw an eighty-foot black Malley come a-fogging thru,

The Spokane, Portland and Seattle's locomotive --
Steam-powered -- black and shiny -- was breathing fire too,

A chilling prickle ran up the back of my neck
As I heard again the long, drawn out moan

Of the steam engine's whistle -- it lacked the cheer of a calliope --
Just one somewhat sad and mournful tone,

I think Union Pacific's Challenger -- a steamer, too, of course,
Might have been bigger, but never mind,

In my long-term memory, along with meeting Acker Bilk,
A more spine-tingling recollection I'll never find.

                                                by D. Edgar Murray 03/31/2000.