A Cajun With A Canon At Cajón

by Jim on 2011/02/21

[Jimbaux is wanted dead or alive.]

Go East West, Young Man

The West; it has long held an allure to many, attracting settlers and adventurers, capitalists and romantics, writers and photographers.  It is a place where men and indeed a nation staked out their fortunes.

The West has long indeed held an allure, too, for Jimbaux, and it was the madness of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that sent Jimbaux to southern California almost immediately after the New Orleans airport reopened in mid-September.  It was a maddening time that I still sometimes have difficulty discussing, and at that point, I was about ready to send my first through a wall.  I decided that sending myself far away for a few days was a better and more productive idea, and it is where we find ourselves with today’s shots.

The West is where the railroad and the locomotive, British inventions initially used to haul coal to the sea faster, would find their utmost expressions.

I’ve mentioned my pal Howard out there in California, and he and his wife Terri were my hosts there.  They didn’t make me talk about Katrina more than I wanted to talk about it, and Howard was gracious enough to take me to the famed Cajón Pass.  Cajón Pass is one of the major railroad passes on the North American continent, and significant volumes of traffic move through it.  For most of you reading this, those in the MidWest, the South, the East, much of the Chinese-made stuff in your home likely moved via railroad through Cajón Pass.  Here are a couple of views of trains moving through the pass.

Above, we see a Union Pacific Railway intermodal train of K-Line containers.  K-Line  is a Japanese shipping company, and these containers come through the port of Long Beach.

Below, we see a BNSF intermodal train of mixed international containers, many of which are Chinese.

Thanks, Howard.

My work yesterday gave me the great pleasure to meet, greet, and mingle with many Californians.  I also happened to see Pete Domenici and his wife, and it was the state of New Mexico where I met Howard and his wife Terri.

Mexican Scuttlebutt

In a different manner, the railroad found a means of expression in Mexico, but a different expression about Mexican railroading made itself known to me yesterday (Sunday) evening.  One of my contacts there writes to me to tell me that the BNSF Railway will be acquiring the KCS de México!  Yes, I’m fairly certain that that will come as news to both companies.  I could only reply to the person who told me this with “rumores, rumores, rumores.”  I guess this is a new take on the perennial rumor that BNSF — and, before it, the BN — would be buying the KCS proper, a rumor that seems to have died in the last year or two.  I could only laugh at this.  Since this is mentioned, though, it’s worth noting that a BNSF-KCSM marriage would give the ex-SP Lafayette Sub across southern Louisiana newfound importance!

A Tribute To The Fallen

Jimbaux made it to the recording studio on Saturday afternoon to record the song that he wrote on the day that his grandfather died in the fall.  Turn your speakers up while you listen to this take on an old Bob Dylan classic.  Yes, that’s Jimbaux on vocals as well as guitar.  Sorry, I’m no Bing Crosby or Jon Bon Jovi when it comes to singing.  Yes, that’s an itty-bitty Jimbaux in some of the pictures.  Enjoy.

Merci, Hubert, and merci, mes amis,

Jimbaux

{ 4 comments }

1 Peter February 21, 2011 at 11:22

That was a nice tribute to your grandfather. Great photos. The singing wasn’t too bad either!

2 Patrick D. Champagne February 21, 2011 at 11:52

James:

A great tribute to your Granddad & his siblings. I am a little hard of hearing this morning, so I can’t be certain whether your voice is better than my other nephews, whose names I will not reveal. I feel certain that your siblings and cousins will remember this tribute for a long, long time.

Uncle Pat

3 EDITOR - Jimbaux February 26, 2011 at 08:06

Oh, I think I might know which specific nephew you mean! The one mentioned jokingly in Pop’s eulogy!

4 Howard N. Bunte February 21, 2011 at 12:10

It’s perfect… what a tribute to a beloved family member should be…, heartfelt, NOT slick, got the vocal ‘quaver’ of a man wanting to get thru the song but not absolutely sure he’ll make it… but knowing that he WILL make it, ’cause his grandfather would have wanted him to ‘succeed’ at what he attempted.
Honor to you, James…

a mes ami…
Howard

ps. my brother died November 12, the day after Veterans (formerly, Armistice) Day. His service defined him, his 4 years in the USAF always there in his mind, tho’ he spent the rest of his life in the schools in soCal. And he loved HIS children, grandchildren, and all those around him…

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