Really, I Just . . .

by Jim on 2022/11/16

Schriever Is Boring

This was just a strange day, which means that this will be a strange post. If you’re seeking brilliant railroad photography, then close out the page and come back later when I have something else to post.

This was an emotional day, not surprisingly, because I returned to my homeland to go to the dentist, and, as usual, I do other things when I am in the area.

The radio reported as I was driving this morning that the third quarter saw the biggest increase in credit card debt in decades.

At about 07:50, I arrived in Baldwin, where I saw railroad cars, railroad locomotives, and, then, a few minutes later, a moving train for the first time since my trip to Lake Charles in late September. Even though trains now suck, this trainless life is killing me.

There were about 50 carbon black hopper cars parked at the beginning of the Cypremort Branch and associated tracks, and the LDRR 1536 and the LDRR 1852 were there, parked as usual. The time is now 07:57, and, after having taken a leak, I’m about to leave Baldwin and continue eastbound.

I was in Baldwin for fewer than 10 minutes. My notes say that, at 07:54, I saw a westbound westbound Union Pacific manifest train, but that can’t be right; the probably-BNSF train had four SMIX covered gondolas, many boxcars, and the usual lease hopper cars and tank cars.

At 07:59, while still parked in Baldwin, I noticed static on the radio and changed from KRVS 88.7 to 89.3 Baton Rouge NPR station that I just discovered.

I crossed the Atchafalaya River.

These are cell-phone pictures, as are nearly all of the pictures in this essay.

Yeah, I told you that this post was going to be weird.

So, I had a nice, brief walk along the riverfront in Morgan City from Brasher Avenue South to the southernmost opening in the floodwall before the railroad track.

You can see the shrimp boats.

I then went through the floodwall gate to walk back to Brashear Avenue on the ‘town’ side of the gate.

This is a neat little area that has a rather tense relationship with Mother Nature, to say the least.

I then drove my truck past the office of The Daily Review, which looks exactly the same as it did 10 years ago – and probably a long time before that, too.

The Taco Bell in Morgan City was uncooperative. It wasn’t open at 08:30 when I got there, it’s advertised opening time was 09:00, and, when I returned there at 09:00, I was told to return later; I didn’t have time for that.

So, I got in the truck and resumed my eastward journey to Schriever. There are 10 hopper cars at the Port Of Morgan City, and I saw no need to photograph them!

On today’s issue of 1A on NPR, Jen White is interviewing a Republican strategist who, asked about Republicans siphoning off working-class voters from Democrats, said that Republicans didn’t really do anything to attract new working votes, that Democrats’ own problems alienated those voters.

Yeah, so, here I am arriving at the sacred place.

Next are the only four SLR-camera images from this day.

There was not anything new here.

This sacred place is boring.

There were no centerbeam flatcars here, which may be a sign of a bad economy and high interest rates.

The Louisiana & Delta Railroad job is on duty somewhere, as evidenced by the locomotive being gone with two personal automobiles parked at the office.

Yeah, Big Swole’s Charger is there.

I made no effort to call Julie to get a status on the #1, and I left Schriever at 09:43.

I went get breakfast at Taco Bell in Thibodaux.

The staffed seemed a bit unprofessional, but it’s fast food, people need jobs, and people have bad days, I should know!

Here is a southbound loaded sugarcane truck on Louisiana Highway 20.

Then, I went to the Jean Lafitte National Park place to eat the two breakfast burritos.

Taco Bell stopped putting sour cream in any breakfast products?

Yeah, I really shouldn’t complain.

I really should eat healthier stuff. So, it’s time to leave. Here is a northward view near the beginning of Church Street, where the old Southern Pacific railroad line into Thibodaux was.

I took East 7th Street all the way to Bayou Lane, and then I went through the parking lot of the Family Doctor Clinic, a place that was so central to me becoming an adult and seeing the world into my present day activism.

There’s some completely new building at E. D. White to the east of the student union. I don’t know what it is, but it may be an athletic facility.

The dentist appointment went well, I told him hello for The Duke and that The Duke said that he thinks about him often, and he said that he had started painting again plenty.

That’s good, my teeth are fine, no cavities, but, in response to my saying that I had a problem with that back left tooth, they gave me a different kind of thing to floss with and told me to do it multiple times per day.

My homie was not able to meet for lunch after that.

So, I went to Five Guys.

This has become a tradition.

I then returned to another sacred place, and it made me feel so old and lonely.

That’s not exactly the place that I mean, even though it brings back some memories.

It was then time to go inside.

It brought back plenty of memories.

While I was inside there, I had a little Epiphany to which I emailed myself separately from inside there.

On that note, another little thing that I thought in there was that the presence of cell phones and my ability to email myself and check Twitter while inside such a holy place sort of kills the whole aura and the whole sense of mystery and wonder that such a magnificent place of worship has.

I would not do that during a mass, but this is not a mass.

This is just me sitting in here and really thinking, really soaking up the meaning.

I thought about meaning, identity, place, and epistemology.

If those who try to restrict human freedom wouldn’t focus on epistemology so much, then neither would the rest of us.

Look, this is something very personal that I am sharing here.

I’m not sure that I should share any of this at all.

I think about how people change.

I think about the power of art.

I think about the power of community.

I think about how communities can become exclusionary.

I think about whether that may even be inevitable.

I’m walking around in the back and I see the little memorial to the children who are unborn, and then I do not see any memorial anywhere on this place to people who died due to lack of universal health care, people who died due to other measures of oppression.

That’s why I can’t be a Catholic anymore. The epistemological part about belief in God isn’t really a problem for me, as I understand that that is a metaphor.

I could be a “practicing Catholic” and still be an agnostic were it not for this focus on sexism.

We could do that and have a more progressive, if you will, religion.

I heard on 1A this morning about the Spanish translation of “progressive” and how it’s associated with Latin American dictators, which is why “progressives” are a big turnoff to a lot of Latino US voters.

I still want the Catholic Church to be what I thought it was 30 years ago, but, apparently, it can’t be that.

I realized that I had not photographed a moving train today and that I was very unlikely to photograph a moving train today, and was fine with that.

Sitting standing here in the parking lot by President Street, where I had been since I started typing at 13:14, I was thinking again about Kelly because he lived in that house that’s right across the street from where I’m standing right now. I need to reach out to him on Facebook. I really do.

I then took a walk nearby; the next 18 pictures are from my short walk, and I’m just going to present them in order without any text between the images.

I have some history in the area, though nothing of which anyone living there now would know. I did a photography project in the area a very long time ago.

As the walk was beginning, my homie called me on the telephone, saying that he got out of his engagement early and could meet at his new house, about which I learned in this process. The name of the neighborhood rang a bell from when I did land-surveying work in the area.

I wish I did that kind of work better.

Riding by the El Paso Restaurant, I recalled the time 10 years ago this month that someone took me there to drop the bomb on me about how my life has been a rather completely altered since then, that I was going to lose my home. When I thought of it lately, I wasn’t sure what restaurant it was, but I just figured it out due to process of elimination. I really hadn’t been to this stretch of town since the eviction. I guess it would have been appropriate for me to have dropped that bomb on me in an old line, traditional Thibodaux restaurant to which I had been accustomed, but I guess it’s also appropriate that the setting that he chose to drop that bomb on me was something that signified the irrevocable changes that Thibodaux was experiencing!

I try to imagine what it would be like to live somewhere around here other than our house, but that is very difficult. Well, it’s not difficult; it’s unpleasant, and it makes me wonder what my emotions about it actually mean.

The visit with my friend was great, except that it was so disjointed as we just kept segueing into different in various topics, never having time to stick to one for very long, because we do this only once every six months, which is bad. Light raindrops were falling when I left.

I then paid a brief visit to where everything started, where I noticed that the windows for what was the art studio next to the garage have been removed, making it a solid wall.

This is the crucible.

I wondered what was happening there, but they were waiting for a school bus to deliver some children. Okay, but it still seemed to me sacrilegious for them to park on the roadbed of the railroad track!

You like my train pictures from far-off places? You do? Well, this is where the obsession started.

I left and went to Schriever.

The time is 15:38 CDT. The LDRR 1712 is parked in the L&D locomotive track. There are no centerbeam flatcars here. The only cars here are lease hopper cars and tank cars and one or two gondola cars in the east storage track for BNSF pickup, and there’s still those two Maintenance of Way pieces of equipment on the house track. It’s cold and cloudy here. I think that I’m just going to go set up at North Main project road for the up local and stay there until dusk.

That’s what I did, for about 45 minutes.

No train came before dusk.

So, that ends the pictures for this weird day.

Just before 18:00, I placed an order for a Caniac combo at the Raising Cane’s in New Iberia.

I learned right as I was taking a piss and sending my friend a picture of a picture of the Mount Carmel basketball team in the Raising Cane’s that the Republican party has taken control of the House of Representatives.

I arrived back at the house at 18:55, and I was astonished to see that the Dairy Queen was closed; it was like it wasn’t there anymore, hiding in the darkness with all the lights out between the two highways.

Today was a good day though!


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