Mayor, while I appreciate trains, I’m not a train enthusiast as you are and as you describe above others who are. However, I’ve known some folks who are. My MD in Mobile was such a train enthusiast that when you went in his office you thought you were in a depot or railyard rather than a doctor’s office. And if you’d mentioned something about trains, he’d get off on that subject and you could hardly get him back to the matter of your health. Then one of my college profs wrote one of the two then most widely used texts in the US on the subject of transportation, served as consultant, expert-witness, etc. in rate making cases, and was so pro-rail (as opposed to truck, air, or barge transportation) that it wasn’t funny. Unfortunately a lot of what he said about the shafting the railroads were then getting by government/national policy was true, and I fear he was right as to his prediction that this country would come to regret the place rails wound up in our national transportation policy . His favorite saying was, "If you are going to ship it, ship it by rail, and if you ship it by rail, ship it on the I-C line". He loved all railroads, but particularly the Illinois Central. He had all kinds of train models and paraphernalia in his office, and all of us students never called him anything except "Choo-Choo" (behind his back).
My biggest train fascination ever was not the trains themselves, but rather was going to Helena (our county seat 20 miles away) and watching the trains load on to and come off of "The Pelican", the side wheeler train ferry which the IC ran across the Mississippi River there. Loved to see her in all her glory out on the river and then see her come in to either shore & watch her line & tie up so that her rails joined the rails on pilings out into the river so that the train could drive off. Then another one would drive on and she’d steam out to cross the river again. And she was a beauty just to see her tied up waiting to make a crossing. Guess my fascination was honestly more with the boat than with the trains. I was sick when IC discontinued the ferry there and sold "The Pelican". I first heard that she was dismantled and sold from scrap; then I heard that her superstructure was dismantled but that her hull remains in service as some sort of barge somewhere – maybe down on the Texas coast or up on the Ohio; just can’t remember and don’t know what is true.
I’ve been to that transportation museum in St. Louis (so-so), but I’ve never been to a train museum in the old Cotton Belt Shops area at Pine Bluff, AR. Have heard its pretty interesting, but really need to check it out. Unfortunately trains are nonexistent in my immediate area now, but can find a few still running about 30 miles to our north & west.
At present I have a 1992 Taurus with high miles that doesn’t like mountains. It’s nice for trips but it eats gas. I’d love to have an old Vista Cruiser and fix it up.
Never let it be said that the Mayor passed by a chance to talk "Trains". There is a fairly large group of individuals (most Male and over 35) who enjoy watching rail operations. They are collectivly known as Railfans, Train-Chasers, and even Foamers . Foamer is term that comes from the appearance of the individual when a particually unique train or engine makes an appearance near the person…They start jumping up and down, usually yelling to their friends and then foaming at the mouth.
Folks who remain more sedate usually photograph or wave or do some friendly thing as the train passes. TrainChasers however are a breed apart. Using a radio scanner tuned to the rail companies frequencies they intercept communications between the train and the dispatchers and know when and where the train will appear. The challenge then is to track it on roads that run near the tracks. Back here in the east, that is not an easy task…but out in my former home area It was possible to drive rather close to the tracks beside the train using a video cam or other photo equipment you can track a train on Old Hiway 66 for hundreds of miles ( I’ve done it) in CA and Az.
It is a fun hobby, and you meet some really nice folks while sharing chit-chat about the rail stuff where ever you go. There is another bunch who do the same thing about airplanes. Cincinnati has a special viewing area near it’s airport for airplane lovers. You park, tune in the radio to the tower freq and listen to what is going on as you watch the planes. I have a photo gallery of over 3000 photos of rail operation . Now you know.[8D]
1984 Subaru GL, 227,000 miles. Will drive it till the fenders fall off.
Train-chasing? Would you please elucidate?
A 1991 Mitsubishi Mirage with about 125,000 miles that was a hand-me-down from my father. Before that, a 1981 Honda Civic that I’d had since 1981 and that my friend is now driving. The depressing part is that I’ve spent more (much more!) on maintenance on my new old car in the last coupla years than I spent on the Honda in the 15-16 years I owned it! Ugghh!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew there was something else about you, Mr Mayor, any man who would haul irises & daylilies around is after my own heart. My favorite flower is the iris, in any of it’s forms – German, Japanese, Siberian, reticulated ETc. & I have a back hill covered in wild daylillies & several more cultivated varieties planted around my yard.[:D]
That must have been one big assed mirror or some mighty small strippers!![:D][}:)][:D]
I don’t miss those Denver/LA/Seattle/Chicago traffic messes either. There’s really something about country life…
I’ve got a 2000 Silver Ford Focus, semi-affectionately dubbed "The Silver Lemon", which has Mardi Gras beads that I got when the girls and I went to see male strippers hanging from the rear view mirror and a 2" plastic "Buddha of Abundance" in the little change niche on the dashboard. Was going to go with the Ford Ranger (which Ford DOES know how to make), but thought we were going to have kids. (Oh well.) She’s a bad girl, but she does move smoothly when I lock in the cruise at 90 on the drive back and forth from Little Rock.
Hubby drives "The Tank"–a ’95 Chrysler Cirrus which is slowly dying. He’d love a Humvee when she finally kicks the bucket, but will probably go with the Volvo Cross Country.
You know–just sitting here reading your post and thinking about those California traffic reports while i,another Calif. refugee,sat here at home in Oklahoma, sipping on my coffee, listening to the birds and NOT having to deal with those crazies,made my day! Thanks for reminding me![:D]
Better late than never…Let me catch up with a couple of messages from above.
RE- SoCal Police Chases…When we moved back here to Indiana, I suffered from the withdrawls from the L A News Media’s devotion to NASCAR-Los Angeles Style…the chases. My wife took pity on me and ordered L A Channels 4. 5. and 7 for our Dish Service. I especially love to here Paul Johnson on channel 4 do one of his early morning traffic reports…With a truck overturned blocking the 15, and traffic backed up to Ethiopia or the Turkostan exit… While I sip my morning brew and listen for the faint sounds of a tractor approaching on our road. He does a report at 6am West-coast time, which is 9am here, just as I think about what I will do this day !!!
2. Qualifications for a roadfood vehicle- I drove an Explorer for a number of years. It was a fine vehicle for the three activities that we target when we go away from home. 1. Train-chasing, 2. Roadfooding. and 3. (and not least) FleaMarketing/Auction-attending. However it fell a bit short (literally) when it came to hauling the treasures of the auction or fleamarket. We didn’t want a regular pickup truck since we (now and then) want to carry a passenger or two, and want some "inside" space for security for things. So the 4 door Supercrew truck proved to be a good answer. It has hauled fruit trees in large buckets, more Iris and Daylilies than I can count, A full load of composted Manure and my 91 year-old Mother in comfort . All in all, for us it is "the truck" and serves us well.
I signed up for a travel deal (hotel, air) when planning on visiting Anaheim a few years ago for a hockey tournament. I asked the nice lady from Anaheim if there was public transit available to get to the tournament location from the hotel. She gave me a puzzled look and said, "Of course! We have taxis!" [|)] Needless to say, we ended up renting a car.
Back home, I drive a 1997 Ford Escort LX in boysenberry blue (I love the color, sort of a purpley-blue). I intend to drive it into the ground because I like it better than any car I have owned before. Too bad they don’t make them any more.[:(!] But if I had to buy another car tomorrow, it would be a Honda Civic hybrid.
The mainstay of my existance is a 1984 Oldsmobile Custom cruiser. I have used this automobile for extensive travel after I bought it used from a friend in 1998. he was the original owner and had used the first 100,000 miles on it. The speedometer broke at 276,7XX. I still would not hesitate to take it on a trip.
I started driving trucks many years ago in 1967. I always wanted to spend more time in the towns and cities I was driving through or near as I delivered whatever I was hauling. About 10 years ago I worked in a different manner and had lots o’ time off (for good behavior) between assignments, so, I took off in oldsmobile and stopped back at many of these places to eat. Oh, the Olds is black with the faux woodgrain trim on the sides, but if my kids need the car for hauling grandkids, I’m in the RV.
Currently driving a gray 2002 Toyota Camry, nicknamed Mr. P-Body, with the vanity plate "PLARCAR" (my first name is Pilar). It replaced a white 1996 Toyota Avalon, nicknamed Mel Blanc, (yes, a very comfortable sedan, but a bit of a "boat"), which, in turn replaced a 1990 Toyota Camry, nicknamed Fluffy.
As you can tell, I’m a confirmed Toyota fan (although if I had to buy a non-Toyota, it’d have to be the Volkswagon Passat)[:X].
Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac CTS neither of which gets good gas mileage. [8D]
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.