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  • 21,900 Days Ago

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    On this day, 21,900 days ago, a train took a young man in search of his himself, a journey beginning on a rainy and cold October morning on the same planked platform that took his father to war fifteen years earlier. He boarded the train and sat looking out over the small crowd gathered on the platform. He saw the tears glistening in his mother’s eyes. The train jerked forward and then settled into a low,  steady crawl out of the station then crossed a long black trestle that paralleled the Washington Avenue Bridge a few hundred feet to the north. The bridge spanned the oily Pequonoch River connecting the two halves of Bridgeport. Out the left hand side of the car, for the last time, he saw the Puerto Rican barrios, out the right hand side he  saw the receding brick factories in the South end-where if he’d stayed, he’d work the rest of his life. The train pulled into the East end switch-yard at the end of Willow Street, the street where he’d spent a year with his grandmother, and found his first job, delivering newspapers. Finally, he arrived in New Haven where he’d undergo a physical, some testing to insure his sanity and raise his right hand vowing to serve Uncle Sam. He carried little that day, except memories, those that were good, some ugly, hard ones that would have to stand the test of time: the 525,600 hours, the 31, 536,000 minutes, the 1,892,160,000 seconds, the 21,900 days that followed.

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