Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Rally Day

After our morning routine “stuff” we went over to the 4-H Restaurant for breakfast – it’s not a bad little cafe, however, a little bit on the “greasy spoon” side.  At 10:00 the caravan began heading for the Durand Union Train Station.  Judy and I rode with Norm and Linda.

Durand is a town of 4,000 people today, but back in its “hey day”, at the turn of the twentieth century, it was a busy railroad town.  It was a major railroad hub with the convergence of eight railways leading from north to south and east to west.  There were two “railroad diamonds” with one on each side of the station where the tracks converged (each diamond was made up with four tracks crossing each other).  Forty-two passenger trains, seventy-eight freight trains, and twenty-two mail trains would make their way through town bringing as many as 3,000 people to the Durand Union Station every single day.

Durand Uniion Station The Last Remaining Railroad Diamond in Durand

Our tour began with an excellent video entitled “Queen of the Rails” followed by a visit to the museum including a model railroad depicting the area during the early 1900’s.

Model Railroad Model of Union Station

After our visit at the train station we went to lunch with Norm and Linda at Nick’s Hometown Grill in beautiful downtown Durand (beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

Then it was back to the fairgrounds where the Lion’s club put on a Service Dog demonstration.  Devon, a Black Lab, and Magic, a German Shepherd, charmed us with their abilities.  Each dog’s service task is determined by the dog’s demeanor and personality.  Devon is a loving animal who craves attention in return.  He will be working with children providing companionship and comfort to them during traumatic times in their lives.  Magic will be providing assistance to handicapped people.  She is trained to open the refrigerator and get medicines as well as will retrieve items for her master.

Devon looking for someone needing comfort Magic, what a beautiful dawg Magic taking up a collection after the demonstration

After social hour, Judy and I returned home for the evening.  It has been slightly windy here in mid Michigan with wind gusts up to 35 MPH.  The temperatures dropped into the high forties last night; it was just a little chilly this morning.  Yesterday was a fun day, but, once again, the best part is spending time with good people and great friends.


  1. Darrell, Is that Don and Jean Johnson that I see? How is he doing?

  2. Yes, Cindy. That is in fact Don and Jeanne. Don is doing quite well, however, they have sold their motorhome and are now pretty much settled into their condo in Portage, Michigan. Hope to see you guys at the Escapade.

  3. We will see you there. Tell Don and Jeanne that Phil and I say hello, been praying for Don's health. Glad to know he is doing well and out and about at a rally!