Aboard VIA Rail's "The Canadian", heading westfrom Winnipeg to Jasper, we meet Dennis. Dennis has grey temples, but the mischievous eyes of a ladies man. He got on the train at Winnipeg, same as us, but ~ he announced after we'd all stepped aboard ~ this would be his very last trip as a VIA Rail attendant as he was retiring after 35 years of service. He and Karim rounded all of us into the lounge car, and Karim poured champagne all around.
"You'll want to stick around," Karim told us with a gleam in his eye, "Dennis has a wonderful voice and he'll sing for you without asking." Sure enough, once the bubbly was poured and the train had started Dennis serenaded us with "Day-O", "It's a Wonderful World" and "Only You." He moved from person to person, smiling, looking into their eyes, squeezing hands and touching shoulders. Those who weren't teary-eyed sang along.
Even I got a little misty, and wondered why he was singing such sad songs. View photos.