Follow-up news last year about Long Island Rail Road engineer Ronald Cabrera who was had been terminated for allowing a passenger to operate a rush-hour train, caused a flashback to 1997 and a thought:
"Didn't know LIRR took things like that so seriously!"
It was New Year's Eve and my only begotten son had secured a coveted All-Access pass for me to the Blues Traveler concert at Madison Square Garden.
Though I hadn't been in Manhattan for New Year's since 1961, I knew better than to drive, so I parked at the Westhampton LIRR station, bought a return ticket to NYC for $20.50 and about two hours later was making my way up from the bowels of the terminal and into MSG for the big show.
The concert itself was terrific, but the trip home was an event!
In order to make the last train to Westhampton at 12:36 am, I left the concert still in full swing and made my way down to the lower LIRR level just after midnight.
By 12:45 am, with still no posting for the Montauk Line, the place was jammed with girls with big hair hanging onto guys in (team) sports jackets, and despite the relatively early hour, all appeared to have been enjoying themselves immensely... they were throwing up on each other's shoes.
It wasn't until 1:10 am that a track sign was posted for my train, and I was literally transported by the throng to funnel onto an escalator leading to the train platform.
That was the scary part, because the whole place was so crowded that people couldn't move away fast enough as more bodies were mechanically deposited onto the platform... I watched it all happening before me, and I could only think of how I might avoid being involved in the replication of The Who's 1979 concert tragedy in Cincinnati.
There was, however, nothing to be done... like being swept up in a huge human sea puss, it was in the hands of providence.
Somehow, I was deposited onto the Penn Station platform and despite the crush of bodies being fed down behind me, managed to keep my feet and work to the right and out of the strongest vector of force.
Moments later, I found myself crammed up against a wall of the last railway car headed, I could only hope, out onto Long Island to stop either at Jamaica or Babylon.
It was 1:40 am.
To be concluded.
What happened after 1:40 am?