DO NOT PUT THIS IN A BOOK TO GIVE ANYONE IDEAS!
When I was 13, my family and my father's brother family decided to have a vacation together in Culver IN. My Uncle was the councler for the band at Culver Military Academy. So, we stayed in a small apartment in downtown Culver that my uncle rented to sometimes get away from the school. In the end, my older brother and my cousin's older brother and sister did not come along so it ended up being four adults, and three kids, two thirteen year old girls (slightly boy crazy, and loved wandering around an all boy Military Academy (it was at that time) and an eleven year old boy, my younger brother.
At this time Culver was still very small, not a lot of vacation homes and not much to downtown. We were given the freedom to come and go as we please during the day time as long as we were around for meal times. Our parents were soooo trusting.
We did many things that our parents probably would not approve of, my aunt and uncle are dead and my cousin no longer has to worry about them finding out what we did (oh yeah my mom would still have a heart attack). My brother and I talked about this recently and both agreed we would never mention it to our parents so I am really not believing I am writing this down in print. What am I thinking.
One of the shortcuts we frequently took was across a short railroad bridge - it crossed a small creek, it was probably only the length of one train car. We went this way all the time and never met a train.
Well one day, we hear the train's whistle and the words "Double dog dare you," were uttered. Oh, yeah we thought we were so smart and brave and this was going to be one of those short trains.
WRONG, oh so very wrong. We decided to turn our back to the train and hang onto the side of the metal side of the bridge while the train passed. I did not pee my pants, fall down or have a heart attack, but I will never get close to a moving train again! Those little bridges shake like everything! They feel like they are going to fall down! And the train, it trys to suck you under! I swear it does, there is a mighty force as it goes by that I can remember to this day and I will never ever forget. (and when people say tornadoes sound like a freight train all I can think of is you never stood next to a freight train, they do not sound the least bit alike! A train is clashing metal as the wheels hit the rails and it thumps and bumps and makes this horid screeching metal sounds and the whistle and horn! (tornadoes are strong winds that make a lot of noise, but they are just a loud blowing wind - and yes I have been in a tornado - another story for another day).
The train ended up being a very long train (probably not as long as it felt), I know we heard the screech of the brakes as it slowed down, but it kept going). This was also back in the days when there was a caboose on the end and when the train finally got past us. I think the man in the caboose looked as relieved as we felt that we were all still standing.
I know we did not go back to the apartment because the way we were shaking and the looks on our faces would have been a dead give away that we had just done something really stupid. So we probably continued on our way and just sat down by the lake somewhere to regain our equilibriam.
I do not go around railroad crossings. I do not stop on railroad tracks, I look both ways when crossing a railroad track and I do not walk down railroad tracks! I have a very healthy respect for trains!