I have become friends with someone at work. I think his title has something to do with communications. I think a more appropriate title might be Area Omniscient. Jonathan knows anything you want to know about most anything. Sure, his primary duty is making sure the right people get together and, pardon me, the trains get there on time but, he has apparently decided not to be defined by any old title. Among a host of other talents, his natural curiosity has allowed him to speak Scannerese. Its my blog and I reserve the right to make up words from time to time. Scannerese is the language firemen, state troopers, DOT crews… use when they communicate on the radio. I’m sure you have heard it before on one of those crime dramas on TV. “Base this is 2600, 10-41 er, at subject, 10-55, corpus delicti, 1523, maux nix, on scene, 2600.” Everything said on a two-way radio also has to be said under the breath and indecipherably fast. He actually knows the lingo, he is able to understand it under the breath and is able to respond in kind.
I hope you can meet him one day.
Jonathan has a bunch of hobbies and one of those is trains. He loves them. He and his fellow train enthusiasts have a sort of
underground network. They take great joy in seeing a neat, vintage or otherwise rare train. This is where Jonathan shines. His ability to speak Scannerese allows him to listen to a scanner and determine if such a sighting is coming his way. We have a local train yard and when Dodo Bird of trains is on its way, he knows. He dutifully reports the potential sighting to the network and at the first opportunity, a break or lunch, he dons his hat and walking stick and walks the short way from the office to the tracks. Sometimes he meets his fellow enthusiasts and they oooh and ahhh together. Sometimes he might take a
picture to later post on a social network but, many times watching trains is a solitary tribute known only to Jonathan and the train engineer who, I am sure, provides a neighborly wave.
I wish you could see the joy in Jonathan’s face when he is getting ready for his stroll.
I wondered for some time why Jonathan made his romps across the cornfield between the office and the tracks. I must admit, when I saw the unmitigated joy in his face I thought he had a special audience with Elvis or he had found the Indian treasure in Redbone Cave. Redbone Cave and a Cherokee treasure is a long story for another article. Anyway, that day, when he was getting his walking stick, he granted me rare access to his top secret train intelligence. I don’t remember the specimen he showed me in the picture but, I remember how he beamed when he showed it to me.
I wish you could have been there.
I guess Jonathan chooses to put himself in joy’s way. He, we, have to work at it. Many times, joy requires our most precious commodity, time. Jonathan could easily busy himself with all manner of distraction. There are auditoriums to book, motor pool cars to check out, accidents to report…sometimes it is hard to focus. Sometimes we have to wait next to the tracks all day to see joy. Joy can be a very personal experience or sometimes we get to oooh and ahhh together. Joy is there, we just need to keep our hat and walking stick ready. The scanners, phones and demands of those who travel with us are loud but, if we focus, we might hear the train coming. Then we just have to choose to be at the track.