ALL ABOARD: The Facts of Life: ’Twas a horse opera by any other name


It has certainly been a busy week here at the Loose Caboose. It is not easy cleaning a non air-tight, non-insulated, wood-stove spewed 1928 railroad caboose, even if it is only 360 square feet.

I’ve been cleaning, not because I care, but because my sister is coming to town.

All the way across the country from the Peach State of Georgia, my only sister will travel next Monday.

For the first time since who knows when but her, sister Linda, now in her 37th year of teaching children how not to misbehave, will once again visit her mentor in mis-behavement.


Since our older brother Lew had the confidence and wherewithal to disappear from parental control at a wise and early age, only Linda was able to observe many of my best worst moments of adolescence.

It would not surprise me if sister Linda’s list of my best of the worst would be different from mine.

Yet, I bet both of our lists would include my visual interpretation with pencil and paper of two horses mating.

Having learned that our mother had explained the facts of life to my sister with the line, “You can’t get pregnant unless you are married,” I just knew that my fourth-grade sister Linda might grow up thinking that staying single would be the best form of birth control.

So, without mother’s knowledge or permission, I volunteered to use my sixth-grade science skills to explain to Linda and her best friend Cathy Boehm how and where babies came from.

Maybe it was my exposure during all those Saturday afternoon double feature westerns that made me comfortable using horses to describe something of which

I knew nothing.

And I do mean nothing.

Were I to explain in print what I thought in sixth grade about the fore and aft of child birthing, well, let’s just not go there until this paper really goes tabloid.

My sister Linda’s list of the best of my worst might also include her first trip to visit me in the woods.

She didn’t seem to appreciate the varying results in pouring barbecue sauce, stale beer or kosher salt on slugs as a form of entertainment.

Since then, my sister Linda books her own local lodging, on-line, with her credit card, at her peachy clean preference for privacy, the Harbour Inn Motel.

Linda’s first visit to the caboose years ago made her a true believer in the comfort and convenience of Freeland’s finest lodging, particularly since Richard and Gwen Soto became the innkeepers.

Knowing that I still do not have to remodel the 80-year-old caboose bathroom for sister Linda’s visit brings a sigh of relief.

I just hope that she does not mind if I shower in her motel room while she is shopping next door at the BookBay or the Antique Mall.

Not only does Harbour Inn have hot water, they have water pressure!


“Conductor of Fun” Jim Freeman lives in a transportation-challenged caboose in Freeland. He’s available for events, celebrations and civic ceremonies at

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