(For more info about the Inclined Plane, go here. Interesting stuff!)
I love going over there and sitting on the bench or looking out over the valley, and people like Dave are why it's such an enjoyable place to park oneself for a spell.
I asked him a little bit about himself. After he was in the military (hehe--you should see his tattoo! He says if he did it again he would get something a little more...sedate!), he worked in the steel mills for a number of years, and when that closed down he shaved and made himself presentable and sold cars until he retired. We talked about the Incline, where he has worked part-time for about 1-1/2 years. He calls it his "getting away from the wife" time, which I suppose when you're retired and with each other ALL THE TIME is a necessary part of one's mental health! HA! He's so knowledgable and friendly, and I enjoyed his stories. He told me how he teases the kids and messes around by asking them to open the gate, but secretly making it appear that it only opens when they say the magic word. I could tell that he's really good at what he does and enjoys it a lot, and he makes the ride a fun experience for everyone.
I thought I knew the whole Inclined Plane story, after being here for this long, but there's always something to learn. I didn't know that when the Incline was first built, it was mostly farmland up in Westmont, and they hauled livestock up and down the hillside. The livestock went on the top platform of the cars (back in those days, each tram car had two levels), and the people were on the bottom. Obviously whoever designed it was from the city and didn't think of the consequences to the people below of having cows overhead! Around 1920, the cars were remodeled to one level with space for two Model T's and a little lounge (for want of a better word) for foot passengers.
I think I'm going to go down there and visit him again!
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