So today I visited Travel Town, a smallish train museum in Griffith Park. The aim, you see, is to find out how the insides of Pullman sleeper cars circa 1890 were lit. I am pretty sure it was via carriage lamps, but I do not know. Also, how many chairs did they have? How did said chairs fold into beds? How many people were seated at each seat? Did they sleep two to a bed? There are a thousand train-related mysteries.
I get to the gate and there’s nobody at the information booth. After walking around several minutes, I have yet to find any T-Town employees, and have barely found any fellow visitors. I have, however, found a lot of signs telling me not to climb on the trains. Oh well, I think, I will take advantage of the area’s desertion and climb onto one of the trains without anyone seeing. Wrong. Can’t get inside. They’re all locked.
After trying every car roughly like the model I was looking for, I finally gave up and went to the gift shop, where I found the only employee I was to see the entire trip. She had no idea how the insides of the trains were lit, and referred me to a childrens’ book on trains that they were selling. It also proved devoid of information. She gave me the numbers of the two employees who might know the answers to my questions — but they only work weekends.
So, having wasted most of my afternoon, I wander back to my car, when I notice a pair of young Russian women pushing strollers, yammering on and pointing to a sign outside the entrance. After they move out of the way, I move closer, to read the sign:
“WEST NILE VIRUS HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THIS AREA.”
…spent the rest of the car ride home scratching at non-existent mosquito bites and worrying if my brain was swelling up back there.