Hello, and welcome to our monthly 10-picture sampler of my images from the month that was 10 years before the month of publication here. Like last month, we have some geographic diversity (as in, not all of the pictures are taken in southern Louisiana), but this time we also have subject diversity that aligns precisely with the geographic diversity, which means that the non-Louisiana pictures are the non-railroad pictures.
All of the pictures in this article and all of these sampler articles are presented in chronological order.
We start right on the first of the month, right after I had returned from my Rich Mountain outing, as a hate-radio acolyte and I chased The Chip Local from Schriever to Berwick, where we see the locomotive in the siding running around his train because the Morgan City track was too full of cars.
There were plenty of other pictures taken that day, and this was also the occasion on which one of the more well-known portraits of me was made, but with our 10-picture limit, that’s all that we shall see of this occasion; perhaps in another decade, I’ll publish daily 2006 pictures.
For our second image, we are, three days later, at a location that had already become very familiar to me in the late fall: Willswood.
On former Southern Pacific Railway trackage in the above image, we see Union Pacific train QLINSB-04 approaching the location that UP calls the “schoolhouse” thanks to the proximity of Norbert Rillieux Elementary School.
Next, for the third image, we see one of my first action shots of New Orleans Public Belt Railroad action, right at one of my favorite locations: Cooter Brown’s.
The train is heading south, downriver, toward NOPB’s Cotton Warehouse Yard.
Next, for the fourth image, we are back across the river in good old downtown Gretna seeing some good-old street-running by the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway.
That’s good-old Barney (who, along with all of the other GP7s, left the property for good seven years later) leading a bunch of tank cars westbound on ex-SP trackage on 4th Street.
For our fifth image, we are back at Willswood, though this time on the former Texas & Pacific Railway mainline, where we see some southbound stack train arriving.
I know not if it’s a train bound for UP’s intermodal facility just two miles away or if it is bound for interchange with CSX.
Our sixth image is our last railroad image and last Louisiana image of this set. We’re back in Gretna, back seeing Barney, and back seeing Barney doing street-running in Gretna, but this time we are on the Madison Street trackage on the former New Orleans & Lower Coast line.
This train is obviously headed to Belle Chasse, and check out those loaded pipe gondolas, to be set out on the return trip northbound like we saw back in December.
For our remaining four images, we travel far away from Louisiana and see things far different than trains. In what is probably the most memorable school year of my teaching career, the Katrina year, we somehow, despite the hardships, managed to put a Close Up Foundation program together that year.
I recall that this was my first visit to the National World War II Memorial, and I find it strange that Wikipedia says that it opened nearly two years before, since I was there for Close Up in January 2005, but now I remember that snow and ice prevented us from going to the memorial that year. So, this, seen here in our seventh image, is my first visit to this wonderful memorial in Washington, District of Columbia.
Important to note is that this memorial is simultaneously a monument, as it does something more than just honor those who gave their life for the cause on behalf of the country: it honors the cause by glorifying the efforts of the dead. A decade later, in an effort to shed some perspective on the issue of Confederate monuments, I pointed out that the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a memorial without being a monument.
‘Twas on this trip that I made my first visit to Theodore Roosevelt Island, and that’s where our eighth image was made, looking across (the rest of) the Potomac River toward the Watergate complex.
I miss DC; five years after I took these pictures, I’d be spending a longer time there, and five years after that, I’m starting to miss it again.
The next day, several of us are in southern-central Pennsylvania at Gettysburg National Military Park, my second time there in as many years, as seen our ninth image.
‘Tis a special and neat place indeed, full of history, tragedy, and determination.
Finally, for our last image, we are, the next day, in the US Capitol Building standing beneath the dome at the rotunda.
That, too, is a special place.
That’s all for this episode; stay tuned for next month, which will be entirely in Louisiana and, if not entirely of trains, almost entirely of trains.