Alabama Bound

(Annie is traveling by train and other conveyances to Mississippi and St. Louis to teach and perform at some harmonica workshops, "jam camps" and festivals this week and next. The following road blog is a work in progress.)
Day four,Tallapoosa, GA, Alabama State Line
This morning as I sat in the train station in Northeast Atlanta, a woman's voice came over the speakers. "Number 19, Crescent to New Orleans," she announced in a deep, soothing voice. "Southbound Train." I immediately heard several songs overlapping in my head, all with that same succinct, evocative lyric. "took my baby away from me" I thought, "Rolling on down the line." "I got to ride, ride, ride..."
I rolled my suitcase to the far end of the platform, handed over my ticket and climbed aboard. For a musician who also happens to be a sentimental fool, there can be no greater pleasure than to find oneself deposited directly into the rhythmic and historical narrative that is a rail journey through the American South.
Such was my romantic mood as we left Atlanta. I nestled into my booth in the dining car and watched as we passed through the freight yards, daydreaming about seeing an archetypal hobo perched on one of the yellow steel cars. That a couple of small towns later I spotted a fully clad Elvis Imitator posing by the tracks only added to my feeling of general elation.
This is the fourth day of my excursion and the first day I've felt inspired to write. I tried to start a travelogue from the moment we jolted out of smoke-filled Back Bay Station in Boston early Tuesday morning. Whether it was the diesel fumes, tiredness or a state of shock, I don't know, but I fell into the existential wormhole that is a rail journey through the Southland of Connecticut.
To be continued...