I’m driving the three-seater Rambler wagon down back road from Stoughton to Edgerton. My four children, my mother, my sister and I have been shopping on State Street in Madison. We’ve managed to stuff all the packages of weird hats, T-shirts, and funky posters in the car. My mother is in the passenger seat, my two daughters and sister have squeezed into the seat behind me and my two sons are scrunched up in the “way back,” waving at cars that pull up behind us. My oldest daughter (13) is holding her favorite purchase – a green glass bottle shaped like a fish. Scales, pucker fish lips, and everything. I slow down – a little – as we approach the railroad crossing on County Trunk N. This is 1972 and that’s the railroad crossing without any automatic signals.Yet.
Well, you know what happens as I’m about six feet from the tracks. My daughter decides to test out how her new bottle would sound if she blew her lips across the green glass fish lips. Yup. Just like a train whistle.