Kish grew up in Vermilion, Ohio, in a house located between two train tracks. Because there are two tracks nearby, and because a lot of commerce in America moves by freight train, the lonely sound of train whistles and the rumble of passing freight cars are a part of every visit we make.
There is something comforting about the sounds of trains. The train is far away when you first hear that whistle echoing across the countryside; the train politely gives you plenty of notice that it is on its way. As the train approaches, the sound of the whistle changes and expands. Soon you hear the throaty growl of the train passing by — and then the whistle gently recedes into the distance.
We don’t hear many train whistles in New Albany; I’m not even sure where the nearest railroad crossing is. Curiously, however, the sounds of the trains don’t bother me when we are here or interfere with my sleep. If anything, I sleep more soundly — and I think the trains, as well as the fresh air and the deep darkness, away from the light pollution of urban areas, may have a lot to do with it.