Patti's Porch

RIDING THE RAILS TO HOME: A NEWSIE RIDES THE ORPHAN TRAIN by Cleo Lampos
Saturday, December 12, 2020 by Patti Shene

Featured Book: Riding the Rails to Home: A Newsie Rides the Orphan Train

Author:  Cleo Lampos

Publisher:  Reliant Publishing, a division of Redemption Press

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Series or Stand Alone:  Stand Alone

 

 

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS TO PATTI’S PORCH. CLEO SHARES HOW SHE DREW ON HER OWN EXPERIENCES TO CREATE HER HISTORICAL NOVEL.

 

 

 

CLEO IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A PAPERBACK COPY OF RIDING THE RAILS TO HOME: A NEWSIE RIDES THE ORPHAN TRAIN.

 

 

 

RIDING THE RAILS TO HOME: A NEWSIE RIDES THE ORPHAN TRAIN

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

Cleo Lampos

 

 

 

As Mark Twain advised, “Write what you know.”

 

 

 

As I rounded the bend at sixty years of age, an unexplored historic period opened in front of me. The late 1800’s and the orphan train saga. Reading book after magazine article for three years, the lives of Irish immigrants who gave up their children to strangers in the West tugged at my conscience. I met four surviving train riders at the Little Falls, MN, Orphan Train Reunion. Visiting the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kansas, completed my research. To answer the question of who adopted these unwanted cast offs, the book, A Mother’s Song, was written. Circumventing the 36,000 homeless ragamuffins who roamed the streets of NYC every year, were foundlings whose survival depended on the Sisters of Charity orphanage. These infants rode the orphan trains to Louisiana.

 

 

 

But, the group of urchins who broke my heart was the newsies.

 

 

 

The newsies at the end of the nineteenth century controlled the corners of New York City with their sale of Pulitzer and Hearst’s newspapers. These gutsy boys, some as young as five, secured their site because their livelihood depended on it. At night, they slept at the News Boys Lodging House where access to food, clothing and education existed. Scrappy youngsters, they worked hard to beat off life-on-the- streets where too many decisions proved life-shortening. As I researched this group of waifs and read their stories, their PTSD reactions to situations resonated with me.

 

 

 

They were just like the boys in my classroom whose emotions seemed predictable and understandable. Most teachers do not gravitate to the behavior disordered/emotionally disturbed youngsters. I did because their experiences mirrored my own. At age three, my father died. At four, my teenaged brother pretended to shoot Santa as he flew over the cottonwood trees. My mother lived on a minimalistic budget with no safety net. After first grade, a step father took our family from our Colorado home to a farm in Iowa where he became an abusive alcoholic. The teacher at the country school brought her daughter’s outgrown winter coats for my sister and I to wear. After attending nine different schools in three states, I graduated from high school. Oh, a stint in foster care interrupted my junior high years. So, the thoughts from the boys in my classroom never shocked me as their teacher. There was always a familiarity in their reactions to the injustices of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating the book, Riding the Rails to Home: A Newsie Rides the Orphan Train, emerged from the iconic advice to authors: “Write what you know.” With the historic background of the newsies and having read countless memoirs of orphan train riders, the factual part of the book flowed easily. The overlay of details grew with knowledge of the time period. But, the emotions of the book combine the raw outbursts of my students with my own scarred view of life. As Stephen moves from homeless to adopted, his journey includes aspects from the many stories I had read. Fiction and nonfiction stream seamlessly in this historic novel of a New York City Irish boy in search of a “forever family”. There is a strong religious aspect to Stephen’s quest because the premise in the novel is that God is involved in the lives of those who let Him.

 

 

 

Like the main character in the book, I see God’s hand over my life. Even with so many sad and traumatic events in my childhood, looking backward from my seventh decade, it is apparent that God was there with me. Guiding me. Encouraging me through others. Preparing me for His purpose.

 

 

 

To write what I know.

 

 

 

Blurb for Riding the Rails to Home

Stephen Reily finds relief from living on the streets. He gets a job as a newsie, selling newspapers during the day and living at the Newsboys’ Boarding House. Sleeping on a cot, eating a hot meal and attending classes at night help Stephen to survive. But his heart longs for a home, a place to belong. But who would adopt a street kid from Five Points, New York City in the late 1800’s?

Selected to ride the orphan train, Stephen encounters difficult circumstances until he is chosen to live on a farm in Nebraska. Through the patience of the couple who foster Stephen, he faces his fears. He struggles with forgiveness and faith in a God who he cannot see. Only a quilt square reminds Stephen of his dying mother and sister, who was sent to an orphanage. How will the women of the town use this scrap of fabric to comfort Stephen? Can a cast-off child find a home? A place to belong?

 

 

Amazon ebook buy link                      

Amazon paperback buy link   

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A PRINT COPY OF RIDING THE RAILS TO HOME: A NEWSIE RIDES THE ORPHAN TRAIN BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22ND AT MIDNIGHT MST.

BY LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU GRANT PERMISSION FOR YOUR EMAIL TO BE REVEALED TO THE AUTHOR IF YOU ARE THE WINNER TO FACILITATE RECEIPT OF YOUR BOOK.

 

 

 

Cleo Lampos has taught foster children as an educator in an urban school in the Midwest. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, and a Master’s in Special Education from St. Xavier University-Chicago. Lampos is a quilter who enjoys retirement with her husband on their suburban farm as they can and preserve their harvests. Eleven grandchildren are within driving distance. Teaching about the orphan train, the Great Depression and other historic topics at senior groups or community colleges is a joy for Lampos. She is the author of eight books.

 

 


Comments

Cleo Lampos From Oak Lawn, IL At 12/17/2020 10:20:56 AM

Thnank you all for your encouraging words. Even in today's culture, there are many foster and adoptive children who need parents and other persons to take an interest in their lives. It can become a mission.

Vivian Furbay From Colorado Springs, CO At 12/14/2020 7:19:31 AM

I also like to quilt but mine are nothing fancy. I have had nothing in my life to relate to this story but would love to read it.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Vivian. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us.

Gwen richardson From CO At 12/13/2020 10:04:07 AM

Very sad its amazing how childern just up roited and sent all over thought interest they went throw colorado opened my eyes. God bless and thank you for your time

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Gwen. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Becky M Van Vleet From CO At 12/12/2020 11:12:43 AM

Cleo, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Riding the Rails to Home. And now I have an even greater appreciation for this YA historic novel, knowing your own background and learning more about your research. You are right--we need to write what we know and God's hand is over our lives.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Becky. Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

Amre From Idaho At 12/12/2020 9:36:01 AM

An interesting-sounding premise for a book! So sad to think of children then and now roaming the streets in dire conditions, hungry, afraid, without the love of parents. Heartbreaking!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Amre. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Cleo’s book and the message she shares.

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Patti Shene
3/18/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
Patti Shene
3/4/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KARIN BEERY
Patti Shene
2/24/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA RUTH STRONG
Patti Shene
2/6/2016

REVIEW OF SNOW OUT OF SEASON BY CHRISTY BRUNKE
Patti Shene
1/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ELAINE STOCK
Patti Shene
1/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
Patti Shene
1/2/2016

IS CHRISTMAS REALLY OVER?
Patti Shene
12/26/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR BROOKE COX
Patti Shene
11/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
Patti Shene
11/6/2015

PERSPECTIVE
Patti Shene
11/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
Patti Shene
10/23/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS
Patti Shene
10/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
Patti Shene
10/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
Patti Shene
10/3/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PAULA MOWERY
Patti Shene
9/11/2015

LIFE AFTER LIFE BY JUNE FOSTER
Patti Shene
8/22/2015

INTRODUCING A NEW BLOGGING COMMUNITY
Patti Shene
8/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
Patti Shene
7/24/2015

WHY WE WAIT
Patti Shene
7/11/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MISTY BELLER
Patti Shene
6/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ELIZABETH MADDREY
Patti Shene
6/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA DOUGLAS
Patti Shene
5/22/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
Patti Shene
5/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
Patti Shene
4/10/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
Patti Shene
3/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIAN MERRITT
Patti Shene
3/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBER STOCKTON
Patti Shene
2/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE ALMONY
Patti Shene
2/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
Patti Shene
1/24/2015

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE
Patti Shene
1/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE PEASE
Patti Shene
1/10/2015

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SEVEN
Patti Shene
12/27/2014

AUTHOR GINA WELBORN RETURNS
Patti Shene
12/20/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
Patti Shene
12/18/2014

WHAT DOES ADVENT MEAN TO YOU?
Patti Shene
12/14/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
Patti Shene
12/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
Patti Shene
12/6/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY WRAPS UP PURE GENIUS SERIES
Patti Shene
11/29/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SIX
Patti Shene
11/22/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR BILL GARRISON
Patti Shene
11/14/2014

WHAT DO YOU MISS?
Patti Shene
11/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
Patti Shene
11/1/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FIVE
Patti Shene
10/25/2014

DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE
Patti Shene
10/19/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GINA WELBORN
Patti Shene
10/10/2014

POINT TO POINT TO POINT
Patti Shene
10/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FOUR
Patti Shene
9/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
9/19/2014

BY THE NUMBERS
Patti Shene
9/15/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ADA BROWNELL
Patti Shene
9/5/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
Patti Shene
8/30/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART THREE
Patti Shene
8/23/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
Patti Shene
8/16/2014

SITTING IDLE
Patti Shene
8/10/2014

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
Patti Shene
8/3/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
Patti Shene
7/26/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
Patti Shene
7/20/2014

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
Patti Shene
7/14/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
Patti Shene
7/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
Patti Shene
6/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
Patti Shene
6/20/2014

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
Patti Shene
6/16/2014

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
Patti Shene
6/7/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
Patti Shene
5/30/2014

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
Patti Shene
5/17/2014

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
Patti Shene
4/23/2014

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
Patti Shene
4/19/2014

PLAY BALL!
Patti Shene
4/17/2014

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
Patti Shene
4/12/2014

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
Patti Shene
4/4/2014

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
Patti Shene
3/29/2014

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
Patti Shene
3/26/2014

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
Patti Shene
3/22/2014

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
Patti Shene
3/19/2014

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
Patti Shene
3/15/2014

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
Patti Shene
3/13/2014

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
Patti Shene
3/8/2014

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
Patti Shene
3/1/2014

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
Patti Shene
2/22/2014

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
Patti Shene
2/15/2014

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
Patti Shene
2/12/2014

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
Patti Shene
2/8/2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

A Matter of Perspective
Patti Shene
2/1/2014

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
Patti Shene
1/25/2014

Monopoly!
Patti Shene
1/21/2014

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
Patti Shene
1/17/2014

What Did You Mean By That?
Patti Shene
1/14/2014

Wildlife Video
Patti Shene
1/10/2014

My Best Reads of 2013
Patti Shene
1/8/2014

The Dumbest Kid in School
Patti Shene
1/3/2014

Good-bye to 2013
Patti Shene
1/1/2014

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
Patti Shene
12/22/2013

One Spectacular Christmas Display
Patti Shene
12/19/2013

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
Patti Shene
11/29/2013

Shared Experience
Patti Shene
11/24/2013

Facing the Monster
Patti Shene
10/25/2013

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
Patti Shene
9/27/2013

I'll Be Happy When...
Patti Shene
5/14/2013

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
Patti Shene
5/5/2013

I Can't Do This!
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

BREAKING THE RULES
Patti Shene
4/28/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
Patti Shene
4/21/2013

Vulnerability to Fear
Patti Shene
4/17/2013

Faith and Fear
Patti Shene
4/15/2013

Those Temporary Interruptions
Patti Shene
2/21/2013

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
Patti Shene
2/3/2013

Taking Stock
Patti Shene
1/30/2013

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
Patti Shene
1/26/2013

Winter - Bah Humbug!
Patti Shene
1/22/2013

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
Patti Shene
1/19/2013

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
Patti Shene
1/16/2013

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
Patti Shene
1/12/2013

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

The last Day of the Christmas Season
Patti Shene
1/5/2013

Accountability in the Extreme
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

The day after Christmas
Patti Shene
12/26/2012

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
Patti Shene
12/22/2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
Patti Shene
12/19/2012

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
Patti Shene
12/15/2012

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
Patti Shene
12/12/2012

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
12/8/2012

News From Nashville & Beyond
Patti Shene
12/4/2012

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Home!
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Confessions of a first book editor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Going Home
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

GPCWC in Restospect
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012