Friday, April 8, 2016

Outing Club Lunch

So, here's the description of the event in our local Community College brochure:

ALL ABOARD! THE A TRAIN Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II in 1945. The history of the Friendship/Merci Trains will be shared along with live music and entertainment from the era. (Includes Lunch) Cost: $21 Thu. Mar 31

PERFECT. The TMBC signed up -- and the four of us met at the Outing Club.
Altho this pic is from another day -- these are the actual attendees. Linda P, me, Linda K and Sandy...

Always a wonderful place to have an event!!

Although the food is usually AWESOME at the Outing Club, on this day, the planners decided to serve a menu typical of what the soldiers during WW II would have received. Baloney and egg salad sandwiches, with an apple and a cookie.  Yikes.

But, despite the spartan lunch -- the program was TERRIFIC. We all learned so many things...and these stories have been buried or lost in the subsequent years. None of us ever heard about the Friendship Train. Did you know....

(from Wikipedia)...The Friendship Train The idea of the train was proposed by Washington journalist Drew Pearson in his daily column "The Merry-Go-Round", and the cause was taken up by other newspapers around the U.S.

The train began from Los Angeles on November 7, 1947, and proceeded through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois. From Chicago the main route passed through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before reaching New York City in 11 days.

Originally hoped to collect 80 train car loads of food, the train ultimately collected over 700 cars ($40 million value) of food, clothing, and fuel, paid in part by monetary donations. Many of the donations were made by individuals, such as individual cans of evaporated milk collected from junior high students. At the time, the Friendship Train was called "One of the greatest projects ever born of American journalism".

Every single thing was donated to the people in Europe.  The railroad, the stevedores, the train workers, the dock workers, all donated their time handling, loading and hauling the tons of donated food and merchandise.

Who knew, eh?

AND then -- we learned about North Platte, Nebraska....

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