Summer Sounds: Kiddie Train

Originally published on August 24, 2011 6:41 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

And now, the latest in our series of Summer Sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS SOUNDS)

SEAN COLLINS: I'm Sean Collins and my summer sound is the train at the St. Louis Zoo.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN WHISTLE)

COLLINS: Turns out, the three-year-old brain is the perfect place to store a lasting memory and, as luck would have it, my brain was turning three back in 1963, when the train started running here.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN BELL)

COLLINS: We'd run into one another around town. I see him at the club, say, hi. We were both using khaki before it was cool. I loved everything about his zoo in a really big way, including the train, especially the train. What can I say? I was captivated.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN WHISTLE AND BELL)

COLLINS: The clanging of the gray crossing gates and the yard bells, that throaty sound of the engines. Add a whistle and it's basically three-year-old nirvana.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN WHISTLE)

COLLINS: But what these trains really do is transport you through a place of wonder and memory to wherever your three-year-old self needs to go. Get your ticket in your hand and hold it tight.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN BELL)

SIEGEL: The conductor for that summer sound was independent producer, Sean Collins. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.