It was a joyful reunion at Penn Station Wednesday afternoon for one very satisfied — and grateful — Long Island Rail Road customer and an incredibly helpful train engineer.
Judie Ulberg says she was riding LIRR to Lynbrook last weekend when she left a black shopping bag on board. Inside that shopping bag: Two gowns that Ulberg, the mother of the groom, borrowed to try ahead of her son’s wedding in November.
“I got distracted with a phone call and I left this big black bag with dresses in it,” she said.
Ulberg panicked. The dresses were both borrowed to try on for her son’s wedding in November. Together they were were $1,000. She drove to the end of the line in East Rockaway to see if she could find them, screaming for the train to stop when she got there.
“The conductor must have thought I was crazy because I put my foot in the door to stop it. I thought the police were gonna come and take me away,” she said.
“I thought someone had fallen in the gap because you were screaming so much, I heard it on the intercom,” said train engineer Christine King.
They searched the train but the dresses weren’t there. Ulberg was heartbroken, but King didn’t give up.
“I said, ‘She probably left it on the other train that followed us. And it’s probably still in Long Beach. Can you reach out to the crew?’ So he reached out to that crew. They looked. They found the bag,” King said.
By this time Ulberg was gone — so King turned to Facebook to find her, posting the story in a local group.
“Everyone in my neighborhood just started sharing to any Facebook page they could think of,” she said.
It worked. The next day Ulberg was at a fitting for her daughter’s dress, and the store owner had seen the post. They called right away.
“It was so sweet. We were both crying on the phone. She was so happy when she called,” said King.
Ulberg got the dresses back over the weekend, and on Wednesday she got to say thank you to the person who went above and beyond.
“I just feel blessed that people in this day and age are so thoughtful and kind, and are thinking about other people,” Ulberg said.