March 2013 Sampler

by Jim on 2023/03/01

Greetings, and welcome to the March 2013 Sampler essay. This one will be brief. I was, let’s say, “going through some things” at the time, with a worsening back situation while also stuck working on a job that I felt that I had, for lack of a better characterization, outgrown.

This was the month in which a man who had influenced me, not just in the field of railroad enthusiasm and in photography but also in life in general, died. More information about this event can be found in the appropriate parts of this essay.

I had also been emerging, since maybe about late November or early December, from one of my periods of frequently picture-taking and was settling into a lull that, with the exception of a slight uptick in May and June, would last for most of the rest of the year, until about Christmas.

Let’s begin.

Saturday, The 2nd

I guess that what I remember most about this day were two things related to the darkness of this day.

The first is that I was doing some experiments with photography in dark-but-not-nighttime conditions, and the second is, relatedly, that all of this was making me think about my position on mandating headlights being on at all times any time that an automobile is on a public right of way. As I wrote in the post for that day, this day only helped to solidify my position.

Monday, The 11th

Here is a downriverbound New Orleans Public Belt Railroad train parked at Walnut Street.

The only thing that I remember about this picture is that I took it when I was on my way to a physical therapy appointment.

Monday, The 18th

What I am recontextualizing here a decade later, now that I know that I am autistic, is that this image represents my attempts at being a normal person.

There was not only a New Orleansness but also a coinciding peopleness that I was trying to achieve here, though not necessarily then. I had been trying to achieve it ‘there’ at that location for about a decade before. I remember a friend from the bayou – the one(s) back home, not Bayou Saint John – whom I had associated with this area.

Thursday, The 21st

There were some kind of reverse moves happening here just west of the parish line at around Southport Junction, something that I had never before seen, and I imagine that it frustrated motorists on Jefferson Highway.

I was in plenty of pain.

Saturday, The 30th

A few days earlier, Shawn Levy died of pancreatic cancer. Shawn had had a big influence on me, and his death hit me hard. A few days later, I wrote a long essay about his life, his death, and the influence that he had on me, particularly, what I thought was the central message of his life and why I related so much to it.

I guess that, by this point, I had achieved leave of absence from the day job. I don’t feel like searching to find the information when that actually started, not just because it’s not that important but also because the search itself would not be pleasant.

But I did get some pictures back home over this time, and I remember my pensive and reflective mood at this time.

Sunday, The 31st

This is how we end this here.

I do find lumber interesting and, as such, I find lumber shipments by rail interesting, because you already know that I find railroads interesting.

That’s all for now.


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