My Wife Got Me Frimbo for Valentine's Day!

804 views
16 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 216 posts
My Wife Got Me Frimbo for Valentine's Day!
Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, February 15, 2020 2:24 PM

For Valentine's Day, my wife got me All Aboard with E.M. Frimbo by Rogers E.M. Whitaker.  

I married well!  

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 1,081 posts
Posted by NKP guy on Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:03 PM

   A lady that thoughtful and kind brings to mind the old Vaudeville question, "Does she have a sister?"

   You're going to love the book.  

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 3,112 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, February 15, 2020 5:14 PM

Yes you did!! 

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: North Central Florida
  • 77 posts
Posted by jdamelio on Saturday, February 15, 2020 7:04 PM
Excellent read!!
Jeff RCT&HS 1628 Modeling Doylestown to the Terminal, if only in my head!
  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,168 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 15, 2020 7:05 PM

You're going to love it!  Some of the best rail writing ever!

"Frimbo" should be a lot better known than he is.  Great stories crafted with elegant prose.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,903 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, February 15, 2020 7:22 PM

Shock Control

For Valentine's Day, my wife got me All Aboard with E.M. Frimbo by Rogers E.M. Whitaker.  

I married well!  

 

It's about time you had a copy! 

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 216 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, February 16, 2020 9:56 AM

Thanks all!

Believe it or not, I had never heard of these stories until recently.

I was watching a documentary on the New York Central that I found on Youtube.  It talked about Frimbo in one part.  They said that on a random weeknight, he would take the 20th Century Limited from Manhattan to Albany and back.  On the train, he would get a shave and haircut, have cocktails, and then have dinner.  He would then sleep on the train, arrive back in Manhattan in the morning, and arrive at the New Yorker offices by 9 am! 

I've been re-reading John Cheever's complete short stories and it's making me sad that the book is about to end.  Frimbo will be a nice transition!

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,168 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 16, 2020 11:00 AM

I don't think "Frimbo" was the only one to take the "Century" to Albany just for cocktails and dinner, I believe Lucius Beebe did it quite often as well, among others.

It goes without saying the food on the "Century" was that good.  

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 216 posts
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, February 16, 2020 11:35 AM

Flintlock76
 I don't think "Frimbo" was the only one to take the "Century" to Albany just for cocktails and dinner, I believe Lucius Beebe did it quite often as well, among others.

It goes without saying the food on the "Century" was that good.  

I've often wondered how this concept would work for a restaurant or bar:  Obtain several Budd dining and observation cars, sit them on tracks, either car-to-car, or if not feasible with the size of the lot, set them side by side on sections of track.

Restore the cars to their original art deco splendor.  Serve high-end period cocktails, and include on the dinner menu a few of the original entrees.

There used to be an airplane bar in NYC.  Would a passenger train bar work?

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,174 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 16, 2020 12:01 PM

Shock Control
I've often wondered how this concept would work for a restaurant or bar:  Obtain several Budd dining and observation cars, sit them on tracks, either car or car, or if not feasible with the size of the lot, set them side by side on sections of track.  Restore the cars to their original art deco splendor.  Serve high-end period cocktails, and include on the dinner menu a few of the original entrees.

Problem is that everywhere I've seen some version of this tried (about 4x now, ranging from the old Azalea off Rt. 46 to a restaurant in Germantown, Tennessee) it has proven... well, just as much a money sink as the actual 20th Century dining arrangements were.  Ed Ellis tried the slightly expanded version, offsetting some of the dining expense with potential accommodation revenue ... that didn't thrive across all seasons, either.

There used to be an airplane bar in NYC.  Would a passenger train bar work?

I think if it won't work for Spaghetti Warehouse or Victoria Station, it might have short legs.  The success I saw was not in a bar, but in a hot-dog stand, in a surprisingly modern Union Pacific car on Sunset Boulevard... I believe that is closed now.

The whole fun of train dining, and I suspect most of the bar-car service as well, was the shared community during the ride.  That is absent from most any service a standing restaurant could offer, and probably from most dinner-train operations.

Wayne has probably been to the mega-diner in New Jersey that features one of the Blue Comet coaches.  This is a delightful experience, but the 'rest' of that enormous operation pays for the car ... and it's a diner.  I suspect it wouldn't be as popular with cordon bleu cooking and Century-style floral budgets...

Now, there was an airline bar of bars in, I think it was Penndel, on Route 1.  Somebody bought a Connie, hoisted it 70 feet in the air, wired up the anticollision lights, and had something instantly and successfully attractive ... as a sign for 'dining underneath' or to lunch in.  (The only thing I wish they hadn't done was put cheap aerial views in the windows instead of leaving them clear!)

The 'end' of this particular effort was kinda fun.  It trailed along less and less popular after 95 was put through, and the aircraft was sold (I think to someone from Holland) and very carefully restored to flying condition.  Your bar tab in this might be more than most customers would find enticing, but the atmosphere? there are few things better than the Century, but that might be one.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,168 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 16, 2020 12:52 PM

Mod-man, that's the Clinton Station Diner in Clinton NJ with the old "Blue Comet" car, the "Biela" I believe.  Sadly, I've never been there, it's just a little too far to go from where I'm at when I'm up north, but I have seen it.

Heading east on Route 78 after crossing from Pennsylvania it's easily spotted from the highway when you get to the Clinton area, "Blue Comet" car and all.  And it's supposed to be very, very  good.  Maybe one day.

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 1,898 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, February 16, 2020 6:18 PM

You could have dinner in the diner and sleep overnight, have breakfast in the diner and get off where you got on in Spooner WI.

https://spoonertrainride.com/

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Louisiana
  • 1,996 posts
Posted by Paul of Covington on Sunday, February 16, 2020 8:58 PM

   I'm reminded of a little thing Victor Borge did:

   He walked up to the ticket window:  "I'd like a round-trip ticket, please."

   Clerk:  "Yes sir. Where to?"

   Borge:  "To here."

_____________

My mind's made up.  Don't confuse me with the facts.

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,875 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:01 AM

I've read several articles by Rogers Whitaker in TRAINS in past issues.  He was a much better writer than Beebe and could make all aspects of his travels, including the lowliest mixed train, sound like a great adventure.  I've even read some of his work in the "New Yorker", which confirmed what I had discovered in TRAINS, that his style was unsurpassed.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,174 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 11:36 AM

Flintlock76
And it's supposed to be very, very good.

It is.

  • Member since
    October 2013
  • 38 posts
Posted by spsffan on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 2:54 PM
For the record, Carney's on Sunset Blvd. is still open. And surprisingly good hamburgers and hot dogs and chili. I think that's part of the secret. Simple food, more or less fast and reasonably priced food. Not prime rib or surf and turf.
  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,168 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, February 20, 2020 2:59 PM

spsffan
For the record, Carney's on Sunset Blvd. is still open. And surprisingly good hamburgers and hot dogs and chili. I think that's part of the secret. Simple food, more or less fast and reasonably priced food. Not prime rib or surf and turf.
 

You know, you can talk about haute cuisine  all you want to, but sometimes nothing, absolutely nothing,  fills the bill like burgers, hot dogs, fries, and/or chili.

Pizza too, for that matter.  Or a meatball hero.  Or a cheesesteak.  Or a bagel with a good cuppa coffee.  Or a good chicken pot pie.  I could go on and on.  

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy