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-Monday, April 14-0 Comments
-Monday, April 14-0 Comments
6:05:10 a.m. – The Knicks are officially ‘Out of It’ and between that, and Wyatt winning nearly a THOUSAND DOLLARS at the Ultimate Roping in Montgomery, Texas, the I-Man ...
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-Friday, April 11-0 Comments
6:05:10 a.m. – Vindication for Tony! His position on Connecticut Basketball Coach, Kevin Ollie, being a viable NBA Coach, was a sound idea. At least according to Lupica. He has received ...
-Thursday, April 10-0 Comments
-Thursday, April 10-0 Comments
6:05:10 a.m. – The I-Man begins the morning irritated with Tony’s ‘Stupid’ ‘Vinnie From Queens’ question. It’s probably Rob’s fault. They ...

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    1:33PM

    Jim Lehrer Likes Trains (We Think)

    As if being the smart, charming host of the PBS News Hour weren’t enough, Jim Lehrer is also an accomplished writer, whose 20th novel, Super, debuted this week.

    Not to be bested by his guest’s achievements, Imus boasted that he used to work for the railroad, on freight trains out of Los Angeles. While this may seem irrelevant, it’s not: Super takes place on a train, specifically the Santa Fe Super Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles.

    Set in the late 1950s, Super features real-life characters like Clark Gable and President Harry Truman, both known for their love of trains.

    “Clark Gable really was the number one fan of the Super Chief,” said Lehrer. “After his wife Carol Lombard died in an airplane crash, he was more insistent, he wanted to go by train.”

    Often called “The Train of the Stars” because of its Los Angeles to New York route via Chicago, the Super Chief of Lehrer’s imagination is also the scene of a crime.

    “There are a couple of bodies,” he told Imus. “And the question is whether or not it’s murder, or something else, and whether Clark Gable is really Clark Gable.”

    Lehrer’s love of transportation is not merely coincidental; as a boy, his father worked for a bus company in Kansas called Santa Fe Trailways that was owned by the Santa Fe Railroad. When he was older, Lehrer himself worked at a bus depot in Texas.    

    “It’s all part of my DNA,” he said. “My dad used to say, ‘Son, there’s nothing more important than moving people from place to place when they really need to go.’”

    Train travel, however, is not the romantic venture of yore. Back in the day, the Super Chief was all-Pullman sleeping cars and had “fabulous food,” according to Lehrer. “They’d pick up fresh trout in Colorado, and they had a bakery in Newtown, Kansas, where they put on fresh bread,” he waxed. “They had a barber shop, and a teletype machine, long before there was anything like television.”

    Growing up in Kansas, Lehrer remembers watching these fancy streamliners zoom through small towns, and never imagined he’d be able to ride one. Fast forward a few decades, and Lehrer had the great pleasure of riding the Super Chief just five years ago.

    Though it doesn’t feature the same luxuries as the old Super Chief—like a private dining room decorated entirely in Turquoise—the new incarnation was still terrific fun for Lehrer, who likely traveled on the tracks that run right through the Imus Ranch

    In fact, oftentimes Imus will take the kids down near the tracks to do one thing or another, and a train will rattle by. “They don’t exactly wave to the people on the train,” Imus said. “You can imagine what I have them do.”

    We’d rather not.

    -Julie Kanfer


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