November 2011 Sampler

by Jim on 2021/11/01

Greetings, and welcome to the November 2011 Sampler, with 21 pictures from as many days (one from each day, following the pattern), and I believe that this is the largest sampler essay that I have ever done.

Because I took the unusual step of adding a few retrospective blog essays of October 2011 pictures after I published the “October 2011 Sampler” essay, though, I’d like to use this opportunity to recap some of what preceded the pictures that you’re going to see here.

I added three retrospective blog essays with pictures from southeastern Louisiana from October 2011. The first is obliquely referencing an incident that occurred on October 14 on the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway in Gretna. The second was the long-awaited follow-up piece on the old piece from the death of a friend on October 23; the new follow-up piece is of and illustrates the day of her funeral and burial, October 28. The third and final post was of a few pictures of life from October 29.

So, all of that sets the stage for what you see here, a colorful rendition of November 2011.

Thursday, The 3rd

We start in Raceland, at Raceland Raw Sugar.

This sugar mill would be a common subject for me at this time.

Friday, The 4th

Here is Horseshoe Road at Schriever.

It’s an important place for me.

Saturday, The 5th

So, I got a new camera, a gift from The Duke, for which I am grateful, and here is one of the first images that I make with it.

Yes, it’s the Raceland Raw Sugar mill.

Sunday, The 6th

Here is what is left of the Georgia Sugar refinery, which shut down in, I think, the mid 1980s.

Yes, it was a railroad customer on the Lockport Branch.

Wednesday, The 9th

Hey, look, it’s a familiar scene here.

It’s not long after 06:00. On that day, I took what was my first train picture with the new camera, a westbound manifest train at Shrewsbury on the Norfolk Southern Back Belt line in Metairie.

Friday, The 11th

Here we are at the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway yard under the Crescent City Connection bridges.

It may be difficult to tell, but that’s one of the newer GP38-3 locomotives, not one of the older GP7s that were running their last runs on the NOGC at that time.

Saturday, The 12th

The old borrow pit that was just south of Raceland Junction is slowly being filled in with this sooty output from the sugar mill; I remember when this was a pond.

This is BNSF Railway train M-DYTCSX moving eastbound out of Raceland with BNSF 786, CSXT 724, and CSXT 4581 as power. I think that it had just met another train, and, a mile to the east, at Kraemer Road, where I did another shot of this train, I noticed that the ditch lights weren’t on, and I signaled to the engineer, by pointing at the headlights on my own truck, the problem, and he waved out of the window to thank me; next I saw the train, the lights were on.

Sunday, The 13th

Here is the tail end of an eastbound train stopped at Schriever, probably the M-DYTCSX doing a Sunday-afternoon setout.

That’s an end-of-train device on a carbon-black hopper car that is probably coming from one of the three carbon-black plants in Saint Mary Parish.

Monday, The 14th

On this day, I caught the NOGC 504 and the NOLR 2180 – which is obscured in this image but is there behind the 504 – working the OMI facility, which may have been the first time that I saw that facility served by rail, as that service seemed to have not been there in the early days of my time in this area in the mid aughts.

This would also be the second-to-last time that I photographed NOGC GP7s in action.

Tuesday, The 15th

Here is the Chip Local in Boutte returning eastbound after serving the Discovery Gas Plant in Paradís, which is just a few miles west of here.

The bridges in the background are the southern ends of Interstate Highway 310.

Thursday, The 17th

I had no way of knowing this at the time, but this would be the last time that I photographed NOGC GP7s in action under their own power on the NOGC, as the NOGC 2180 and the NOGC 504 were pulling a train northbound on Madison Street in Gretna.

I am not sure when they were taken out of service, or if I saw them again afterward without photographing them (with the winter solstice approaching and the amount of daylight each day decreasing, it’s possible that they were running in December but that I wasn’t out of the workplace earlier enough to catch them before dark), but they sat idle in Belle Chasse for about a year before moving off of the property for good in February 2013 when they were sold, some of them still being active elsewhere.

Friday, The 18th

Here we are at Vallier, where the No Tory US is working on the LDRR 1708 switching the gas plant.

What am I doing bouncing back and forth between home in bayouland and Whoadieville? That’s just how I lived my life for as long as I was allowed to do so, for almost 15 years, because I am autistic bloke who cannot manage to live another way, apparently.

Saturday, The 19th

This is the day that I visited the Hollygrove Market, something in which I wish I would have participated more and would have done so were it not for vagabonded indebtedness.

I didn’t realize at the time that the place was relatively new, and the story surrounding its closure should mobilize us to action.

Monday, The 21st

On this Monday of Thanksgiving week, I went apartment hunting in a part of town in which I’d soon be too old to live, though not necessarily for physiological reasons.

I would later that day get a shot of the Kansas City Southern Railway’s Baton Rouge Turn at the Metairie yard.

Tuesday, The 22nd

This was the day that The Mid-City Marine visited, the day that he met Porkchop and someone else I won’t mention. I picked him up in Donaldsonville, and we crossed the river and followed the old Y&MV line down the Mississippi River, hoping for some trains, before we crossed the river at Destrehan before following the Lafayette Subdivision westward. We found a Ferromex locomotive leading a train at Raceland.

We then got to see the Chip local at Raceland Junction.

Wednesday, The 23rd

This was the day that I wanted to have with my friend, and I vaguely remember telling him before we arranged to meet the day before that this would actually be a much better day to meet. Unlike the day before, it was sunny, which I might not have known well in advance, and the Chip Local went to Morgan City, which I would have known in advance, because, in those days, the train went past Raceland and Schriever usually only on Wednesdays and Fridays.

I got many pictures on this day.

That’s Chip protecting the shove of one TFM gondola car into North Boeuf.

Thursday, The 24th

This was Thanksgiving Day, the first without my grandfather, and I remember the fissures developing.

Yes, that’s Raceland Raw Sugar, again.

Friday, The 25th

I remember this day, this day after Thanksgiving, well. I went to the New Orleans airport for a homecoming for a service member returning home from a war zone. On the way there, I got the L&D Schriever job, which I don’t recall to have usually worked the day after Thanksgiving, returning to Schriever eastbound with an unusually-long train, which may explain why it was working on this day.

This is another not-well-lit image that I was able to rescue with the Adobe Photoshop skills that I gained in 2021 with the new version of the program.

I photographed a football game of schools to which I had no connection, which is another funny autistic story of that time, before going to the airport.

I just think the most, as I always do, about the strains that have developed there with people’s reactionary selves being revealed.

Sunday, The 27th

What I remember most about this day was the thickness of the cloud cover, as a train with three fresh, clean new Ferromex locomotives passed through Schriever, from which I chased it to Chacahoula.

The older that I get, the more that I need atmospheric conditions to be like that, because the light harms me as much as the heat does.

Monday, The 28th

After a day at work in Harvey, I am back in Schriever at night.

The place is like a home for me.

Tuesday, The 29th

This was the day that I first visited the place at which I would sleep and spend much other time for the next two years and two months.

In some ways, I miss it, even though, in so many ways, it was a bad time.

It’s a pensive, sad way to end the month, in some ways, but at least I would soon be saving transportation costs. I guess that I will just say what I always say with such situations, that at least I learned plenty.

That’s all for a big month.

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