Funny you should say….
Possibly because of my career as a railroader I also tend to line up many things as freight cars in a train. But none more so than words.
I spent many long nights staring with intent from the window of the cupola of a caboose, waiting for a spark ,or smoke, or anything out of the ordinary happening with the long line of freight cars ahead.
The cabooses are long gone, but never from my mind. Last week I rode Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from Albuquerque to Flagstaff. I was visiting one of my daughters. She and her boyfriend dropped me off at the station. The subject of my past life as a conductor came up in conversation, and I mentioned riding the caboose. I was amazed when her boyfriend said “What’s a caboose?” We drove down through the rail yard, and we found one. It was sitting off to the side less it’s wheels, standing as a monument to the past glory of railroading.
Now days they have sensors every so often that can detect a hot axle, or shifted load. But in my opinion the caboose should never have gone away.