AMERICANA: Romantic Excursion

As the Lackawanna Railroad's crack Phoebe Snow pulled out of Hoboken and roared west last week, a private Pullman car was attached to the rear, with a party of eight elderly Negroes aboard. The leader and bill payer of the group was a tall, spare man, duded up in a blinding sports shirt and necktie, a sharp-lapelled suit, jaunty Ivy League cap and high-button shoes. He was no potentate from Africa, but William Tyler, 78, a retired Pullman porter, and he was relishing the fulfillment of a lifetime dream.

Last spring Tyler, living quietly in a Los Angeles rooming house,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!