November 2010 Sampler

by Jim on 2020/11/01

Greetings, and welcome to the November 2010 Sampler photo essay. The year 2010, especially the last few months of it, was, so to speak, the end of the beginning of my time living in New Orleans.

As seen in the October 2010 Sampler photo essay, on October 23, I broke a three-month streak of not taking any railroad pictures, and, when November came, I resumed taking railroad pictures, though on only one day until Thanksgiving week.

Saturday, The 6th

On the 6th of the month, I photographed, among other things, this daily CSX-to-KCS transfer run moving through the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s France Yard.

What this train really is is everything that CSX sends to the NOPB and everything that it sends to the KCS this far south; so, all of the train goes to NOPB Cotton Warehouse Yard, and, there, not only are the NOPB-bound cars switched out of it but then blocks are built for KCS locations before KCS takes over the train, I think.

Friday, The 19

I went to Rendon Inn with some friends. This dude was playing music.

It could have been me.

Sunday, The 21st

I am back at a familiar place as the CSX Y305, the yard transfer that CSX runs to the Canadian National Railway yard in Metairie every morning, was returning to CSX Gentilly Yard with the CN transfer traffic.

That’s my ‘famous’ Alvar Street shot.

Tuesday, The 23rd

Back home in bayouland, at Schriever, a place full of meaning for me, I see what may be the last train with a Santa Fe Yellowbonnet locomotive leading, and at an angle and time of day in which I could not accentuate its Yellowbonnetness, that I ever photographed.

Oh, well, but that really was an awesome paint scheme.

Thursday, The 25th

It was Thanksgiving Day, and, on this Thanksgiving Day, the holiday visit with my grandparents was fateful. I brought my new guitar there, and my grandfather was impressed at how good I had gotten at playing it and even (maybe) at singing along with it.

Then I went by Laurel Valley, which is where our picture for the day was made.

I have a history there, too.

Friday, The 26th

With someone who turned out to be an authoritarian, I chased Amtrak’s westbound Sunset Limited from Schriever to Chachahoula.

This image would become the last train picture that I made while all three of my grandparents who were alive when I was born were alive. That night, sometime around midnight, was when it happened.

Saturday, The 27th

The telephone kept ringing in the very wee hours of the night, but I didn’t understand what was happening.

By dawn, I understood it, and, shortly thereafter, I along with all of his descendants were in his hospital room. The first thing that my aunt said as I encountered here in the parking lot was, “I’m so glad that you played that guitar from him. He’s not going to make it.”

So, this is how it was going to end.

At 14:12, it ended.

Later, we gathered at the house. I tried to help my grandmother wash the dishes, thinking that just losing her husband of 67 years meant that she needed a break, but she didn’t let me wash the dishes, which I figured was that she needed to perform the act herself for a sense of normalcy on this fateful day.

Later, I got this shot of the bridge that had meant so much to me regarding them.

It had to happen, and, apparently, it had to happen less than 48 hours after he was so impressed by my guitar-playing that he hadn’t witnessed since I was a kid, and rather rough at it, and a few months after the explosive life events that I had then.

Sunday, The 28th

It was time to trek back to the city to go back to the paying job thing for Monday, and, on my way there, I caught this westbound BNSF Railway manifest train coming through the crossover at CTC Live Oak.

That was the first train that I photographed after losing a grandparent whom I had met, and I cannot look at this picture without thinking about him. The next day, I learned the word “bereavement” and that it was human-resource jargon.

That is all for November 2010. Stay tuned for a just-as-colorful December 2010.



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