Retiring Metra conductor was 'the guy with a smile'
Barreling toward the city one last time, Howard Eady is in the lead car of the 6:19 a.m. inbound Metra from Crystal Lake, telling a story among his friends.
This is not an unfamiliar scene – the Conductor of Comedy has many stories. Most are from the past, stock tales he keeps locked and loaded for whatever train car or local tavern or comedy stage he's occupying.
Now, though, standing up in the aisle to project, the 62-year-old Lake in the Hills resident adds to his repertoire a story from a day ago. As he'd done too many times to count in his 41 years as a Metra conductor, Eady was walking the aisle, punching tickets and cracking jokes. Suddenly, from the loud speaker, Assistant Conductor Don Kerpin blurted something about how Eady would be hanging it up the next day, calling it a career.
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