I came across a photo on Facebook with Casey at Roberta Brown’s 40th birthday party. I contacted her to see if I could share her photo and she had a wonderful story to share.
Eighteen years ago I decided what I wanted more than anything was to have Casey Jones at my 40th birthday party. My wish came true. My birthday is three days before Christmas and he happened to be in the Twin Cities visiting his kids for the holidays. What a thrill it was for me. What a thrill it was for all of my guests. We were all “nine years old” again and in our own world of Casey that day. \
What I expected was he would stay for about an hour, tell stories and then leave. Well, I was so wrong. He stayed for three hours and told the most wonderful, and sometimes, off-color stories. Like when the crew would hide filthy notes tucked into his sandwiches. Everyday he would look at the camera and tell us what he was eating. Little did we know he was stifling laughter because of the expletives on the paper hidden under his bologna in his sandwich. Or when a stripper/hooker showed up on the set. It sounded more like a “Soupy Sales” episode than a Casey Jones episode.
He sang “Onions, onions, onions”; “Walking in My Winter Underwear”; and of course the “Casey Jones Happy Birthday Song.” He ate lunch with us (Macaroni and Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Potato Sticks, Small Cartons of milk with “bendy” straws, and ice cream and cake. I had a working play train running around all of the food. He was so happy to be there.
He was so happy to know what he meant to all of us, especially what he meant to me. All of my friends have said over the years that I never had to give another party again. A great time was had by all!! It is indelibly etched in my mind. G-d bless Roger Awsumb!
My thanks to Roberta for sharing her story. Roberta is the author of THE SHOULDING: A Story of Resilience and Hope. Visit her website for more information about her book.