Reading the memo, we were reminded of a very old Kingston Trio song about a railroad train - "Number 97":
"Buddy better get on down the line; Buddy better get on down
the line. Here comes ninety-seven makin' up some time.
Buddy this is Ninety-Seven at your back; Got a ton of
coal poured down her back. Here comes Ninety-
Seven roarin' down the track."
In our version of the song, "Ninety-Seven" would be our area's new light rail system - the TIDE. Rumor has it that among the citizenry - landed gentry and peanut farmer alike - the 'Fathers' (city fathers) are planning, spelled, p-l-o-t-t-i-n-g. They are going to venture over the rim. (Thus far, the TIDE hasn't been the subject of particularly favorable ink. I mean any fool knows that "mixin' electricity and water can bring nothin' but trouble.") Indeed, this area is known as the 'Tidewater Region". It is also a fact that New York City has been 'coasting along' on the East and Hudson Rivers and flirting with the Atlantic Ocean all the while being connected by a rail system - built by Indians and immigrants - that prides itself on the technical reliance on a very 'hot', live third rail for power. Imagine my surprise when this phenomenon escaped an entire population that just didn't 'get' the TIDE.
The advance PR allowed as how the TIDE would bring the cities closer - unite Hampton Roads by making it oh-so-easy and affordable to "Park and Ride" from Norfolk to Virginia Beach faster than you could say in-te-gra-tion. They built it and people came - to and fro, saving gas on our very own 'speeding bullet'. In fact, the Big Picture brings our brothers and sisters from as far as Suffolk and Portsmouth into the Loop.
Then they can head on East to the land of surf and sand. (I see a billboard: "They say the world is a book but if you don't travel, you've only read one page.") Well, our TIDE is a tome of monumental proportions. In fact, as to monuments in particular, once in Downtown Norfolk, the traveler can avail himself of the "MacArthur Memorial" as well as the eponymous 'Side-scapes' in its environs. Similarly, Virginia Beach sports a magnificent "King Neptune" and is studded with artistically-rendered mermaids throughout the city. Portsmouth - at its own, nationally recognized Children's Museum, now honors the Ayers Family in a stunning bronze sculpture of children reading. (The element of common denomination here - if you've not already guessed - is the accessibility of these treasures via our TIDE.)