Entertainment and Sports

I Like (Trains)

All we are saying is give trains a chance. I like John Lennon. I like Hamilton. I like living here. I'd like it more if there were a train.

By Kevin Somers
Published February 20, 2010

I like Borat. I think he's one of television's great characters. The movie was hilarious, too. I like when Borat, with his thick Kazakhstan accent, enthusiastically says, "I like!"

I like my brother. He is the most decent and honourable man I know. He would do the right thing if he were the last human alive after a nuclear holocaust. I like hyperbole and worst-case scenarios.

I like ping-pong. I like playing against my daughters. I always win, but I like watching them improve and look forward to the day when victory is theirs.

I like Mark Fenton's photo essays.

I like what I like. I like to imitate what I like.

Since the womb, I've liked to play hockey. I still play floor hockey twice a week with other way-past-primers. They're good guys, except Harry. After fun and fitness, we often go for Beer. I like that, too. We laugh and make fun of each other. We're joking, of course, except in Harry's case.

I like to tease Harry because I like Harry, which is his nickname. (Don't ask why.) I like nicknames.

I like trees. We live near Highland Gardens (a.k.a. The Res.), where there are hundreds of trees with a bright pink swath painted on them. They might be marked for death, but I hope not. I wouldn't like that.

There are infrastructure improvements coming, so I'd like to remind everyone involved in the project that trees suck up tons of water and prevent soil erosion. Ask the residence of lower Stoney Creek or Easter Island; deforestation is synonymous with flooding, landslides, and human extinction. No one likes that.

I like our groovy old house, which is downhill from the proposed project. The abode, which once sat beside the rail line, has gone from country home to tiny train station and Station Master's residence, to urban quarters. I like synonyms for house, like domicile and dwelling.

The dining room was a small waiting area and the front porch was the platform. I have a small office in the back corner, which, for a period, was the ticket office. I like that.

I liked the history of the little room, but not the lack of light, so we decided to put in a window. Our friend Jim is a skilled, experienced contractor and, while cutting through the wall, he found a publication from 1892 tacked to one of the inner layers. "This was just an old shack they dragged up to the house," he said of my office. I liked it before, but I like it more, now.

Since the window, I can fill the room with plants. I like plants.

I like music. Fred Eaglesmith is a guy I like a lot. One of Fred's most popular songs is "I Like Trains." I like trains, too. We live in an old train station, for Heaven's sake.

I learned to like trains in Japan. I liked living abroad. We spent two years there and I often thought the only thing that kept the busy, tiny, island-nation with a huge population sane were trains. People have to confront and face one another on trains: compromise, concession, co-operation, and consideration are chronic and constant. Every ride is a reminder that we're all in this together. Automobiles breed and enable narcissism.

Trains are comforting, efficient, egalitarian, linear, methodical, organized, orderly, rhythmic, reliable, thoughtful, and social. Canada, a country I like, was built by railroads. Gordon Lightfoot, another performer I like, likes trains, too. Trains are simple and wholesome. Trains are harmonious, human, and humane. Trains are good.

Highways King and Main are perfect for a train and the pavement is practically pleading for progress. Could a train possibly make Hamilton's core worse? I think not, but I like forming impregnable opinions. I like cars, too, but trains are special.

All we are saying is give trains a chance. I like John Lennon. I like Hamilton. I like living here. I'd like it more if there were a train.

I like to write poems (about trains):

I Like (Trains)

I like to read and I like to write
Daytime is fine, but I like the night
I like my girls and raising them right, so
I like to excite, delight, incite, and ignite

I like coffee and herbal teas
I like toast with stinky old cheese
I like parks with beautiful trees
I like birds and I like bees

I like jocks and I like nerds
I like rhyming, I like words
I like bees and I like birds
I like flocks and gaggles and herds

I like cattle and I like cats
I like birds and bees and bears and bats
I like music and groovy old hats
I like Lakeport and I like Labatt's

I like to work and I like to dream
I like to plot and to hatch and to scheme
I like cake and I like ice cream
I like being alone and part of a team

I like women with big, bouncy brains
I like mountains and I like plains
I like sunshine when it rains
Cars are all right, but I like trains

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

5 Comments

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By V. (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2010 at 21:48:51

I like your poem.

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By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2010 at 15:07:14

I like trains too. When living in the Netherlands we took trams and regular trains all of the time. We miss them. So much more relaxing than other forms of transportation.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2010 at 16:36:41

I like.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted February 26, 2010 at 20:56:41

Got me thinking about one of my favourite songs about trains, although it is a sad one, from Hamilton's adopted son Daniel Lanois.

Death Of A Train:

Union Station, tombstone high No more tears, this fountain dry Nameless faces, just headlines We don't ride that train no more

No resistance, turn my head They could go out East instead Newfoundland, land of my father I don't ride your train no more

Cold steel shining, Battle Creek Eyes are heavy, rain and sea Massey-Ferguson memories Don't ride that train no more

Hey there captain, is that you Could you tell me, tell me what to do I been twenty years on that Soo line We don't ride your train no more

Smoke rises from the face of sand dreams about, dreams of beaver dams Sam can't hear quite like he used to Tell them why we don't ride no more

Hey Pierre Trudeau oh, where are you? My friend to lead us through these hard times, so much confusion I don't hear your train no more

I can't ride no more...

  • Daniel Lanois

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted February 28, 2010 at 17:28:08

Oh yeah, this is great stuff Kev. btw your wife was complaining about being chopped liver because of Doug. I like Fred too, here's a couple of youtube songs.

trains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNxoogDYP... steam (not Fred but the lyrics are great): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyNOI7JCF...

Comment edited by Ted Mitchell on 2010-02-28 16:32:40

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