Oct. 31, 2008
WHERE I AM: On the train from Portland, Oregon, to Sacramento, California. I cannot believe my journey is nearing its end. I will need another month to digest this past one so full of adventure and fascinating people.
WHAT I DID TODAY: Slept in! Sat around in my pajamas until noon. This has been the first, and likely only, day of complete rest for me on this trip. And I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
WHAT I’M DRINKING: Amtrak coffee. We’re becoming old friends.
WHERE I’M GOING TOMORROW: I’ll be in Sacramento, exploring the city and getting to know the family with whom I’m staying (another Christian and Missionary Alliance contact. Gotta love the CMA network!).
Okay, I must write about the lounge car attendant. His name is Lawrence. He deserves an award for service, for friendliness, for making people smile and for integrity.
Early in the trip a few people had too much to drink and were cursing. In order to prevent the staff from having to stop to remove intoxicated and vulgar people, thus making the train late, Lawrence stopped serving alcohol. He made several announcements that this was a family train and vulgarity and intoxication would not be tolerated.
Lawrence has worked for Amtrak for 35 years. He begins conversations with each person who enters the snack car, often continuing a conversation begun with one customer onto the next after the first departs.
When the conversation lags, Lawrence tells a story.
He answers questions matter-of-factly. He teases when appropriate. He helps when needed.
Today, Lawrence has shown me what it means to be a humble leader and a strong servant.