National Lampoon Easter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

It was another National Lampoon’s Easter Vacation weekend for my family &045; part of it anyway.

I wrote in this space at one time the story of the Parker Family Vacation to the Redneck Capital of the South &045; Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Well, it was another one of those &045; one that found us at one point packed like sardines into a Suburban, careening down a dirt road in rural Butler County, Ala., at about 80 mph.

You see, my cousin has the coolest job ever &045; he’s a train conductor.

He called Sunday afternoon and said he was making a run from Montgomery to Mobile.

He said he was about 20 minutes outside of Georgiana.

So, there we were &045; hustling to grab shoes and purse and rush out the door &045; no children, just adults.

My granddaddy, two aunts, an uncle, a great aunt and great uncle, momma and I piled into a Suburban and rushed out of the driveway, heading toward the railroad tracks that run through the center of &uot;town.&uot;

Now, when I was younger, it was these same railroad tracks that were the center of fun for all of us.

We’d walk down there from my aunt’s house and walk back and forth across the footbridge.

I once heard it said that excitement in Georgiana was sitting around watching the cars rust.

Anyway, we got to the tracks and all piled out of the vehicle like clowns at the circus.

We waited for a few minutes and began to hear the horn blowing as the train came ’round the bend.

We all rushed up to the tracks and began to wave.

&uot;There he is. There he is.&uot;

We must have looked like the craziest bunch of people &045; like the lunatic bus had just broken down.

But even worse than us was another lady who pulled up with a camera. At least, this time we had forgotten to grab a camera.

So, he pulled on by Georgiana, and we hopped back into the Suburban to go see him at another crossing.

We pulled off, screeching around curve after curve, down roads I have never even seen before until we ended up back on Interstate 65 at which point several times I just know we were flirting with 90.

I was not driving, by the way.

We called my cousin to find out the location of the train, and he was almost to the next crossing. That’s OK, my uncle said, we’re almost there.

With that, we high-tailed it up the exit ramp at Owassa.

No one’s ever heard of Owassa, I know. But I promise it’s there. Then we hit the dirt roads and arrived just in time to jump out again and begin to wave as the engine flew by us.

Just another fun-filled, family Easter out in the woods of South Alabama