All That Fits

A Weekly Column 

by Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, editor of the Jackson County Advocate newspaper, grew up in the Grandview community. She currently serves as President of Grandview Main Street and works as a development coordinator for the Grandview Education Foundation.  She also serves on the Missouri Press Board of Directors and the Kansas City Press Club Board of Directors. You can reach her at

September 6, 2018

I’m not really sure I can say that I believe completely in superstitions, but there are a few that cross my mind from time to time. A few years ago, I broke a hand-held mirror, dropping it into shattered pieces all over my bathroom floor. I remember convincing myself that the whole bad luck thing wasn’t real. I can’t really say my luck has been too awful since then, but I haven’t thought about it too much.

I’ve known people who throw salt over their shoulders, and others who will never walk under ladders. I remember telling Michael that opening an umbrella inside was bad luck, but, of course, he defiantly tried it out and he’s still pretty lucky, for the most part.

For as long as I can remember, every time I drive under a bridge with a train going over it, I have to “hold the train up” by raising my hands to the roof of the car. I don’t even know when or how this started (my dad can probably answer that question), but I do know it is something I have done and will always do. What if I don’t and the train comes down on top of my car? I know the odds of that happening are slim to none, but...what if?

Of course, this is something I have passed onto Michael. He added a piercing scream as we drive under the train bridges, but nonetheless, he participates. Every single time. Just the other day, we were heading to his grandparent’s house, and I spotted a train on a bridge a ways ahead of us.

Looking over at Michael in the passenger’s seat, I noticed he wasn’t paying attention as he was engrossed in whatever game or app he had loaded on his phone. As we got closer to the bridge, I nudged Michael and just got a grunt of a response in return. Finally, I said, “Michael, we’ve gotta hold the train up!”

Just in time, he put down his phone, lifted both arms, and held up the train with me. As soon as we were in the clear, he went back to his phone. I smiled, thinking that he, too, will probably teach this to his own kids someday.

I guess it just goes to show that we’re never really too old, or too “cool” to take part in silly superstitions. I’ll knock on wood and cross my fingers that he will always do this with his mom. You can bet your lucky penny that I’ll still be holding the trains up for the rest of my life.

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