Ed Driscoll


I LEAD A RATHER COOL EXISTENCE? Christopher Cross thinks that apparently I do, based on my test-driving a Segway, and a couple of Electro-Motive Division of General Motors diesel locomotives.

Well yeah, I’d like to think that my existence does have its moments of coolness. (Some of which I can actually write about!) The Segway ride was a happy coincidence, involving the synchronistic timing of my being assigned the article on it by LiteWheels almost simultaneously with an already planned visit to the East Coast, but the locomotive thing, anybody can do. The Portola Railroad museum is only one of several places that have “you too can operate this locomotive” tracks, and all it takes is driving to them and paying for the privilege (as I did).

Of course, writing about it for Railfan was particularly cool, as it was a favorite publication of mine in my early teens. Equally cool has been the chance to interview some teenage idols, including Blade Runner designer Syd Mead, science fiction writer David Gerrold, and electric guitar pioneer Les Paul, as well as later heroes, such as Alvin Toffler and Virginia Postrel–but they’re functions of journalism. They get additional publicity, I get to talk with them. I certainly hope it’s an equitable trade for both sides.

By the way, Chris was kind of enough to say that my writing does sound like it’s written in “a distorted steamy mythopoetic psycho-sexual haze”. I don’t think so myself, but hopefully once I complete my course at the William Burroughs/Hunter S. Thompson school of journalism, it will be…