Finnley #1 – in the train

EUU member Dallis Radamaker has a grandson named Finnley.  Dallis read aloud some stories about his adventures with Finnley at our retreat in Dijon in April 2018, and we enjoyed them so much that we have asked him, and he has promised, to provide more.  That is why we have hopefully labeled this first one “Finnley #1.”


Finnley Robert Rollinger
nearly three years old,
in the train


We see young master Finnley here, a week before his third birthday, in the train from Obersdorf to Immenstadt im Allgau.

Finnley has no serious business in either of these places, nor in any place between them. He is in the train because it pleases him to ride in trains, and because he has a grandfather whose joy it is to see Finnley have what pleases him.

On this particular journey six men in their fifties wearing Alpine costume with backpacks and walking sticks boarded the train and took seats around Finnley and his grandfather. Finnley had just eaten a rather large pretzel and was thirsty.

“Do you have anything to drink?” inquired Finnley of the nearest alpinist. The question was put in very carefully enunciated German. Finnley spoke English with his grandfather but understood that most of the other people he encountered on his daily round preferred to be addressed in German. Grandfather’s apologetic expostulations about the impertinence of begging from strangers in trains were affably waved away by the stranger in question and a bottle of apple juice was extracted from the backpack, from which Finnley unashamedly gulped a substantial part. “Stop while you’re ahead” not being a policy likely to appeal to a youth of Finnley’s temperament, he pursued the path he had opened so successfully.

“Do you have anything to eat?” he asked the generous stranger, over renewed but steadily feebler grandfatherly protests. This time the backpack produced a fine pear and a pocketknife with which it was cut into suitably small pieces and fed to Finnley, who consumed all with a voracious pleasure which was warmly and visibly shared by all around him.

He was just cleaning up the last bit when the train arrived at Immenstadt and the whole little group stepped off, all of them aglow with the warmth of human brotherhood, which they carried home with them and which kept them good company for some hours afterwards.

Finnley and his granddaddy