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Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the U.S. for anyone under 50, ask about a train and you will hear "short line metro" or "freight hauler". Ask someone over 50 and you will often hear the terms "Romantic" or "Dreams of faraway places". Being of the latter category, I grew up hearing stories from my father and grandfather of family men hitching rides during the depression to look for work, buying a once in a lifetime ticket on the L and N to go to Chicago, how the sight of a train invoked reveries of places far from home...a ticket out of the small hometown to places read about in books by the light of coal oil lanterns just before sleep and dreams took them on their journey. When I see a train, my camera is inexorably drawn to frame the iron horse of yesterday, preserving a piece of history that has now passed from this generation.

8 comments:

Karrie said...

Very nice once again, Dan!
I remember my father used to bring us to train shows all the time when we were little. He had his huge train set in the basement that he built from scratch. We were always looking for something new to add to it. Funny thing is my father brought my boys to their first train show this past Saturday! Brings back some great childhood memories. Not big, life like trains but trains no less.

Dan Felstead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Felstead said...

Karrie,

My dad is 84 from a "train" family and when he tells of these stories, I can see in his eyes that these are his best memories as a child. I love to hear the tales and terminology like switching yards, pullman car, signalman...our terms would be gigabytes, EVA, twitter, stem cells....just doesn't have the same ring to it!

Dan

The Muse said...

Many of our family members worked on the railroad..and you are oh so right about the images they convey from the memories of their time...

The Muse

Lynda Lehmann said...

Wonderful photos and blog! I'm following...

Sunny said...

The beauty of reading your post is that here "iron horses" are very popular. They connect countless tiny towns, villages and cities, where planes don't fly and cars don't drive as there're no roads leading to them. Personally, I love trains, as travelling across the country by railroad provides a chance to see variety of nature, see cose villages, meet a lot of really interesting people and talk to them about whatever comes on mind. Once on a train I get to know almost all fellow-passengers, who share their life and wisdom with me.

Dan Felstead said...

Lynda,
Thanks for the visit and the follow. I visited your blog and your photos, art and writing are truly beautiful. Welcome to the blog.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny,
I found your comment very interesting and a perspective that I noticed as well while traveling on the trains in Western Europe. Truly an enjoyable experience...on time, well connected and great people Like you said a trip on the trains was not only beautiful landscapes but interesting lives as well.
Thanks for the comment.

Dan