Both St. Mary Parish Branches In One Day

by Jim on 2019/09/06

Ending A Wide-Angle-Lens Week

It’s the afternoon of Friday 6 September, and I am ending, if we count this past Saturday, a week in which, contrary to my usual heavy reliance on the telephoto lens, most of the many pictures that I took were with the normal lens and shooting wide-angle.

I am heading back to New Orleans, after being there only a week ago, for a workshop for a part-time job that I will apparently soon be starting.

St. Mary Parish is an interesting place, and, the day after I get some shots of a train on the Abbeville Branch, I get shots of activity of both of the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s branches in Saint Mary Parish. Who goes through Weks Island to get to New Orleans? I do!

Very easily, I caught up with the train on the Cypremort heading northward back to Baldwin. I found and photographed it at Glencoe.

Carbon black? How? I don’t understand. I can’t know everything in this one life. I think about Lavoisier and air pollution.

This is a neat little branch through sugarcane fields. It really is neat. But I have little desire to photograph trains on it, as there is nothing but these carbon black hoppers cars on it.

It’s just black cars everywhere, boringness.

By the time that I got to Bayou Sale, there was a decent amount of light left, and, partly since I had photographed a train on the Cypremort Branch already that afternoon, I decided to head the few miles down the North Bend Branch to see if I could find the train there and get some shots of it, too.

I did.

Yeah, it’s interesting, but it ain’t Valentine, it ain’t Supreme, and it ain’t even Abbeville.

That one time that I came here before in 2012, September 13, seven years minus seven days ago, was immediately prompted by a bad day at the office in Morgan City where I was working at the time.

The L&D has two jobs based in Baldwin, and, the inconsequential sporadic business to the Port Of West Saint Mary aside, they exist for no reason other than to serve three carbon black plants.

I kept going.

At dusk, I arrived in Chacahoula, where I bought 18.013 gallons of gasoline for the truck.

I am close to home here. This is bittersweet.

I didn’t go inside.

But, even though it was now out of my way in my trek to New Orleans, I did go closer to home. In some broader sense, I did go home, as evidenced by this picture.

That’s an empty centerbeam flatcar on what is left of the Houma Branch track in Schriever.

To you, it’s just a relatively insipid picture of an empty run-of-the-mill centerbeam flatcar, but, for me, it is loaded with meaning.

I need to get over it, really.

Anyway, I hope that you liked this essay.



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