Finally, we discovered what I had been seeing. Our train slowed, then stopped. The last five cars of a train had derailed and were dragged along the limestone, off track, for maybe fifteen miles. Amazing. An announcement came that the passengers on that other train would need to be squeezed into our train. I've often thought of how frequently we see things that we do not understand, yet which have reasonable explanations once the curtain is lifted.
My dad helped reinforce this fascination with trains by creating a paper mache landscape with a mountain and a lake that became a landscape for our Lionel trains. In this manner and many other ways he demonstrated artistic skills which reinforced my own interest in art later in life. The Lionel train-scape was built on a large 8' x 12' wooden construct that could be lifted with pulleys to become a wall, or lowered to be an area for running trains using transformers and track. It was a wondrous world for us boys.
One of my paintings as an art student was titled Train Coming 'Round the Bend, a self portrait of a young hippie holding on to a pole while the centrifugal force of this massive train curled around an embankment, incorporating some of this early fascination with the power of trains. Another painting, less effectively rendered, involved a horizontal canvas with rows of trains, in sillouette, running across like rows of sanskrit.
Today, I was late for church due to a train crossing a rural roald near my house. My eyes were attracted to the grafitti and, because it was a nice day and very long train, I stepped from my car to get up close and grab some photos. When I remembered that the camera also has a "movie" capability, I captured a minute of rail cars which I have now posted on YouTube.
Life is an adventure. Much of it is infused with art, such as my father's creative Lionel landscape, or the grafitti on the trains. Occasionally there are things we experience that resonate with earlier remembrances that in some way impact us and sometimes even define us. Trains may not be at the center of my life, but I certainly have a fondness for them.
The images on this page were taken this morning, as well as the YouTube video which you can see here. Is it not amazing? Watch for the blue car...