Sarah (chessiechaser75) wrote in railfans,

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This seemed appropriate to share here...

What's the story behind your username?

Heh. An interesting one, in fact. This username actually came about from a childhood trauma and its aftermath.

When I was a kid(I don't remember the exact age, but I doubt more than maybe six), I was a passenger in the backseat of a car with someone driving who was rather impatient and decided that day that they weren't going to stop for the flashing lights at a railroad crossing. I found myself staring at a massive diesel engine bearing down on my side of the car and wailing its horn, the loudest, most terrifying sound I'd ever heard in my young life. It came so close that the wind of the locomotive's passage actually tugged on the back of the car.

Naturally, after that I became almost paralyzingly terrified of trains. The sound of an airhorn would put me into immediate panic mode, complete with utter breakdown and screaming tears of terror. This made life uncomfortable for people with me in a car when it was necessary to stop at a crossing, needless to say. One day, desperate to calm me down, my mother pointed out the silhouette of Chessie, the cat mascot of the C&O railroad, by then known as the Chessie System.

It fascinated me beyond belief to see a cat on a train car, and not knowing at that time the origin of the logo, I assumed she was waving at me. Thereafter I was too busy looking for Chessie System locomotives and cars to wave at(I still do this, when on rare occasion I see one. I don't care if I looks stupid. XD) to bother being afraid of trains any longer.

As I got older, my Chessie fascination remained, and I became acquainted with the fact that she was, in fact, more than a two-toned logo on a train and that there were many, many things to collect with Chessie on them, from calendars to teacups. I was hooked. The fascination with Chessie grew into an interest in railroads in general and locomotives in particular. And now I am an obsessive railfan.

But my first love of the railroads has always been and always will be Chessie, and so I chase after all the Chessie things I can with unswerving purpose. Hence the name.

X-posted to railroading
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