To the Editor:

As a native Freeporter who continues to maintain a connection with my place of birth through your newspaper, I was somewhat amused by your Dec. 31 edition (“Train enthusiasm slows in Freeport,” page A2).

As a young lad growing up in Freeport during the 1930s and ’40s, I was fascinated by the many trains that rumbled through town pulled by those mighty steam locomotives. When I say many, I mean numerous passenger trains and seemingly endless freights that rolled through at all hours, day and night.

I spent many nights at my grandparents’ house at the end of Green Street directly across from the shoe factory, the present site of the Hilton Garden Inn. I doubt these complainers even know there was a Green Street.

After a couple of nights, I didn’t even wake when a train went through. I learned to identify each locomotive by the sound of its whistle, and the engineer by his distinctive signature sounding of the whistle. I particularly remember the thrill of riding in the locomotive of the local freight on its daily stop to set off or pick up cars.

What are we talking about here: two northbound and two southbound trains per day, not during the night — hardly a comparison to the rail traffic in the past. Surely the developers and owners of the Hilton Garden Inn property knew where they were building, as did others who purchased adjacent properties.

We learned to live with it. Aside from the inn guests, I am convinced that, in time, you won’t even notice those trains.

People today just don’t want to be inconvenienced in any way. For me, I’ll take the days of old.

David Goldrup