November 26, 1989 |
It was shortly after 2:30 one sunny December afternoon that I met the button man. He stepped forward to take my luggage as I climbed from the bus that had brought me from the airport, a half-hour's ride away through the crackling, dry bush country of Northern Matabeleland. I forget his name, perhaps because I was so intrigued by his coat, which was covered in buttons and badges of every sort and color. He was the doorman at the Victoria Falls Hotel, and his grin of welcome was warm and friendly.
December 2, 1998 |
It is freezing cold in the new Moscow, well below zero on the Fahrenheit scale, but women in glamorous fur coats and hoods are heading for the subway, traffic jams the ring roads, and babushkas (grandmas) in knitted kerchiefs carry their bundles along the street. You might almost think that nothing had changed since Aug. 17, when the ruble crashed, Russia defaulted on its foreign debts, and the young liberal reformers whose policies had failed were dumped from power. The Western-style restaurants that used to be crowded with foreign businessmen and "new Russians" are still here.
August 14, 1994 |
While thousands of others flocked to Saugerties, N.Y., this weekend, Ken Springirth made a pilgrimage to Philadelphia. Video camera in hand, Springirth left his home in Erie at 3:00 yesterday morning. He drove to Buffalo, N.Y., flew to Philadelphia, took a train to Chestnut Hill and, at 10 a.m., arrived at his ultimate destination: SEPTA's Germantown depot. Leave Woodstock to the others. Springirth had come to celebrate the 100th anniversary of trolley service along Germantown Avenue.
May 10, 2013 |
It's Thursday morning, the air is crisp - 52 degrees - and Audrey Gillespie, Margaret Hunter, Peg Fitzhenry, and Donna Cole are exercising their annual rite of spring: a daylong trek to the Amish and Mennonite plant nurseries that straddle the Lancaster and Chester County line. The itinerary, long familiar to serious gardeners in the region, but virtually unknown to everyone else, is meticulously plotted in advance. It would take almost eight hours and 124 miles to complete, and would include nine stops - eight greenhouses and farm markets that sell plants, with a quick lunch at a Pennsylvania Dutch eatery in Blue Ball, where hamburgers cost $2.35 and lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches a nickel more.
July 16, 1999 |
Charles J. Reutter Sr., 80, a retired special-investigations chief for a railway agency, died Tuesday of heart-related problems at his home in Middletown Township. During his 35 years with the Railway Express Agency, Mr. Reutter rose from patrolman to chief special agent with investigative responsibilities for the Eastern Seaboard, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. Over the years, he received more than 40 commendations from his department and other agencies. The FBI recognized him for helping to find someone who was involved with unauthorized plutonium shipments in the late 1950s, said a son, George Reutter, and he also was cited for his efforts by the New Jersey Police Chiefs Association and similar groups.
October 25, 1987 |
Rolling north toward Bangkok. The moon has been stealing through the rice paddies for hours. "Hey you, American," whispers the woman in the seat facing me. She is Thai and her name is Song Mai. Her eyes don't rivet, as a Western stranger's might. They open and take me in as if I were a faintly remembered landscape. She passes a pint of Mae Khong whiskey. "Don't these trains always make you feel like a spy?" That's it. After logging a thousand miles over almost every bit of track - from Singapore's wharves to the beaches of Malaysia and Thailand's Golden Triangle - I have met a fellow traveler who can find words for the feeling you get on Southeast Asia's trains.
June 22, 1989 |
The Supreme Court handed railway unions a defeat yesterday by ruling that federal law does not give workers a right to delay the sale of a railroad. The justices ruled 5-4 that the law does not obligate the railroads to "bargain about the impending sale or to delay its implementation" while the effects, such as a loss of jobs, are negotiated. The court ruled that the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) could sell its 182 miles of track in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania without first negotiating with its employees' unions.
August 2, 1998 |
During the railroad strikes of 1877, there were major riots in Pittsburgh and Reading, and the Pennsylvania National Guard was called out to restore order. But the troops proved to be unreliable, and after the conflict was settled the Guard underwent a complete reorganization. The reform involved a number of units from Montgomery County and was led by Gov. John F. Hartranft, who was a local Civil War hero. In July 1877, railroad workers reacting to arbitrary pay cuts went on strike from Baltimore to Chicago.
May 27, 2011 |
Morris Arboretum will offer the grand opening of the Garden Railway Display on Saturday, highlighting a Victorian theme. This year's theme will be "Painted Ladies," allowing visitors to see versions of Victorian homes from cities across the nation - including the colorful examples that have become famous in San Francisco. Arboretum volunteers dressed in Victorian garb will dispense interesting facts about the time period. Festivities, beginning at 1 p.m., will include craft activities and ice cream for kids, while it lasts.
April 25, 2014 |
WE NOW have handy initials - PTSD - to label the psychological maladies that afflict war veterans, but still no way to make sense of the horror behind it. That is a point driven home in the engrossing "The Railway Man," the true story of a British soldier, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), tortured in WWII, who finds his Japanese tormentor, an officer named Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), still alive decades later, and seeks him out. Lomax intends to kill the man, but their confrontation - among the most fascinating screen conversations of recent vintage - reveals commonalities in the men that take the encounter in unexpected directions.