Going Home For Christmas – 23 December 2007

by Jim on 2012/12/23

[Jimbaux is going home, knowing that on this day Earth shall ring.]

Well, It’s A Nice Story, At Least

Yes, kiddies, it’s the feast of Saturnalia, as the winter solstice is upon us, or as some ultra-modern and hip people like to call it, Christmas.  It’s a nice story, and it has helped to inspire some phenomenal artwork, like today’s song; what, you haven’t clicked on the above link to hear the song??  Please do!  Whatever it takes to get you through life, so long as you don’t harm or make unreasonable expectations of others, just do it.  So it was on 23 December 2007 as Jimbaux awoke in Woadieville, got a few pictures, and went home to bayouland for the annual feast of the winter solstice and cold weather and huddling together with loved ones, the real “reason for the season,” my friends.

Probably The Last Time I Ever Did This Shot

We’ll start with what is a typical early morning train on the NS Back Belt in New Orleans, the NS’s morningly transfer to-and-from the Canadian National Railway yard at Mays Yard, numerous times photographed by Jimbaux over the years as it makes its return trip back to NS Oliver Yard with the CN interchange traffic.  Anyway, as best as I can tell, this is the second and last time that I ever did the curve shot from St. Bernard Avenue.

Check out those steel bar cars, long a mainstay of this train, but, five years later, absent from this train; they came from Bayou Steel on the old IC “Valley Line” between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Ignorance Can Lead To Unwarranted Accusations

Oh, yes, and we’ve surely been down that road too many times, haven’t we?  The only reason why I mention that now, though, is that these two shots are examples of how people who simply don’t understand optics can look at these two telephoto pictures and accuse one of standing too close to the track or being on the track.  I’ve had that happen with these shots.  Hello!!  Can you even see the ballast between the rails in the first picture??

Well, that’s enough of that.  It’s time to get out of here and pack to go to Bayouland.  First, though, we need a foul diversion.

Bird Foaming

Here are some of the geese that hang out at Bayou St. John.

This is a neat part of New Orleans, and the geese often visit.

I couldn’t quite figure out what they were saying, though, because I didn’t have their frequency programmed into my scanner.

Well, that’s enough of that.

An Odd Yellow Bird

Let’s swing by the KCS really quick to see what’s happening: nothing.  However, that won’t stop us from shooting the KCS 917 there, and, yes, you’ve already seen this odd yellow bird a few times here recently.

How about a closer look?

I guess I ever-so-slightly miss the ex-UP yellow locomotives on the KCS from that time period.  Do you?

The Classic Huey P. Long Bridge

It’s such a fascinating structure, and being on the span offers some neat views, but it’s hard to photograph it, especially from a moving automobile.  Here are the results of my efforts.

Yes, that’s the KCIAT, the predecessor to today’s Z-train, back when it originated in City of Industry, California.


The Statue Of Liberty Of Raceland

That’s what my recently-deceased grandmother called Raceland Raw Sugars, particularly the high exhaust stack.  Men coming home from war on the train or on the Old Spanish Trail – the former US Hwy. 90 seen here, now as La. 182 – could see the exhaust stack from miles away and knew that they were close to home.

You can’t read it in this picture, but the writing on the stack says “RACELAND 1892”.  You saw the other side of the mill, also backlit, 15 days ago when you saw the last-ever railroad delivery to Valentine Paper, an epic post here if there ever was one.

Five years to the day later, this sight is likely what will greet me as I pass this location, unless I don’t get there until after dark, which is entirely possible.

Y’all have a Merry Christmas, okay?

¡Feliz Navidad!




1 Tex Collins December 23, 2012 at 06:25

While I am certain that this is not the time of year when our Lord and Savior was born, it is the time we choose to celebrate His birth. Merry Christmas and may the Lord bless you, richly.

Tex Collins

2 Al Campbell December 23, 2012 at 09:29

Jim: I’d like to wish you all a merry Christmas. Thank you for providing such well thought out pictures throughout the year. I would like to provide a little info for you about birds. Those “geese” in photos 3-5 are better known to us New Englanders as seagulls. We have them by the ton up here. This may be the winter that I mosey on down to Louisiana and Texas. I am getting quite weary of these gray cold skies. Now I’m getting to know why older folks migrate toward the Gulf coast. Regards, Al

3 Nathan Herring December 23, 2012 at 11:55

Great set of pictures Jimbaux, thanks for sharing. I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a even better 2013.

4 Nathan Kaufman December 23, 2012 at 12:51

Well, as my people say, happy Chinese Movie day! I’m always enlightened and entertained, I wish you the best in 2013!

Nathan Kaufman

5 Rrsafety December 23, 2012 at 18:30

I believe those are gulls and not geese .

6 Ray Duplechain December 23, 2012 at 19:48

Thanks for all you fine work. I like your Grandmother’s reference to the Statue of Liberty. I truly believe locals still apply the landmark, thought when coming home…

7 Dolores Breaux Dallas December 24, 2012 at 07:12

Enjoyed your pic’s in 2012. Looking forward for 2013. Love LoUiSiAna photos. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

8 Tom Beckett December 24, 2012 at 10:44

Nice essay as always. I did like the last photo, industrial scenes are fascinating. Despite our industrial decline in recent years, there is still an astounding array of products made here. If only people had an idea how their stuff gets made!!

Merry Christmas, looking forward to more of your work next year.

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