It was a joyful reunion at Penn Station on Wednesday afternoon for a very satisfied — and grateful — customer from Long Island Rail Road and an incredibly helpful railroad engineer.
Judie Ulberg says she was driving the LIRR to Lynbrook last weekend when she left a black shopping bag on board. Inside that shopping bag: two dresses Ulberg, the groom’s mother, borrowed to try on before her son’s wedding in November.
“I got distracted by a phone call and left this big black bag with some dresses in it,” she said.
Ulberg panicked. The dresses were both borrowed to try on at her son’s wedding in November. Together they cost around $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 driver must have thought I was crazy because I stepped in the door to stop him. I thought the police were coming to take me away,” she said.
“I thought someone fell into the gap because you were screaming so much, I heard it on the intercom,” train engineer Christine King said.
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 following us. And it’s probably still in Long Beach. Can you contact the crew? So he contacted this crew. They looked. They found the bag,” King said.
By then, Ulberg was gone — so King took to Facebook to find her, posting the story in a local group.
“Everyone in my neighborhood just started sharing on any Facebook page they could think of,” she said.
It worked. The next day, Ulberg was attending a fitting of her daughter’s dress and the store owner saw the message. They called right away.
“It was so sweet. We were both crying on the phone. She was so happy when she called,” King said.
Ulberg picked up the dresses over the weekend and on Wednesday she was able to say thank you to the person who went the extra mile.
“I just feel blessed that people in that era were so caring and kind, and thought of others,” Ulberg said.