Perhaps that's why I was so caught off guard this weekend when I was walking the dog and heard that familiar sound - the ping ping ping of a light rail bell - from the sidewalk in front of my house. How many times a day do I hear that, working 100 feet from the Blue Line? It sounded so startling, and new, and beautiful on University Avenue. It's one of those small things I hope I never forget.
Maybe all this lead up to opening day has made me overly sentimental about the avenue. Yesterday I rode the 16 in the pouring rain to meet a friend for tea. The crowd on the bus was especially chatty - there's a camaraderie among people who ride the 16. Especially on a Sunday. Especially in this weather.
A man sitting in back row was talking to a friend, who was getting off the bus to go to work at Rainbow. He yelled as she left, "don't be a stranger! If you need me, just call 911 and hang up. Repeatedly!" That got a big laugh out of the back half of the bus. He turned to me and said, "I've been riding the bus with her for 11 years." I nodded and smiled. He said, "She's family. I give her a hard time, but I did invite her to the 80th birthday party they threw for me on the 14." I mean, gosh. Who wouldn't be sentimental about this stuff? I hope we never lose that.