(from the Spring, 2016 issue of Macomb Now Magazine)
By Denis LeDuc
For me there are a lot of things that just can’t be duplicated. Many of them are from my childhood, my Great Aunt Katie is one. Around her, my brother and I definitely sat up straight, elbows off the table and knew what every utensil was for – right down to the condiment fork. And apparently I can’t duplicate the beautiful books she gave us either – classics like Wind In the Willows. Treasure Island and Arabian Nights. Hardcovers with dust jackets and engraved illustrations. Books like that you just don’t see in the stores anymore.
The Big Book of Trains Aunt Katie gave me was just the thing for a boy who daydreamed about being a railroad engineer. The engines seemed to leap from the pages. Not modern, streamlined, soulless diesel engines, but smoke-belching, fire-breathing steam locomotives. I thought of them as great steel dragons pouring out hot cinders and hissing steam.