This blog post is named for a 1966 Czech movie by the same title. The movie is the coming of age story of Milos Herma, a young man during the Second World War when Czechoslovakia was under German occupation. The young man takes a job with the railroad as he attempts to have his first sexual encounter. It’s a world of Nazi agents as well as underground fighters against occupation. The movie ends with Milos becoming a martyr, as he blows up a German munition train rushing to the front lines.
|Folkston GA watertower|
Of course, there were no such sabotages (or Nazi or partisans) on that day when I visited the Folkston Funnel (after spending most of the day paddling in the nearby Okefenokee. The "funnel" refers to a length of double-track line owned by CSX transportation which handles much of the rail traffic in-and-out of Florida. Just north of Folkston, rail lines that run to Savannah and the eastern corridor connect with lines that run through Waycross and Atlanta and up into the Midwest. Over sixty-five trains a day pass over these rails. For those of us who get an itch whenever we see a train, Folkston capitalized on our addiction. They built a viewing stand which is raised, shaded (and protected from rain) as well as complete with overhead fans to keep railfans cool and the gnats and mosquitoes at bay. This prime location that allows one to safely closely watch trains, brings tourist into the small hamlet of Folkston. A local business has been formed to offer “rail side lodging” in which they have restored two cabooses (one is right across from the train platform) and a station house. Here, for a hundred bucks and some change, one can spend the night be awaken regularly by the trains moving in and out of Florida.
|Train Observing Platform|
|Caboose for rent!|
There were six or eight people on the platform when I was there. One was a couple who were driving to their winter home in Florida. The wife assured me they stop again in the spring when they head north. I understood…
|A very long train of containers heads north|
If you’re looking for a great place to watch trains, this is it! To learn more about the movie and its link to the Czech uprising in 1968, read this article.