May 2014 Sampler

by Jim on 2024/05/01

A Quiet Interlude

Greetings, and welcome to the May 2014 Sampler essay.  After the fair-sized “April 2014 Sampler” essay, which itself followed an even larger “March 2014 Sampler” essay, this one will be brief, with only four images, each for the number of days that I took a DSLR-camera picture.

The reason for the brevity is twofold.  First, I was frontin’.  Most of my images from the prior few months were taken on days on which I had to go to class in New Orleans.  Second, it was getting warmer, which is to say, it was getting hot, and I don’t like hanging out anywhere when it’s hot.

Anyway, let’s get it done.  I guess that I don’t have anything more to say about Confucius Lives Next Door.

So, here are four pictures.

Monday, The 5th

Here is a westward view of Union Pacific Railroad train MLIAV, which carries local-bound traffic coming from Livonia Yard, passing westbound BNSF Railway empty crude oil train at Willswood, a few miles from its destination at Avondale, hence the name of the train.

I have no idea what I was doing in Waggaman this late on a Monday.

Friday, The 9th

Here is an image of a Norfolk Southern Railway job based in Oliver Yard on the Chalmette Branch in New Orleans as it returns to Oliver Yard from Arabi with 34 cars, as seen from Almonaster Boulevard.

This was “Foamy Finals Friday”, the day that I took final exams, and I took several pictures on this day, which you can see at the full blog article from that day

According to that blog article, I both visited The Feather and talked on the phone to Jeannie Dean on this day.  Dean died some time not long afterward, and I didn’t know about it for a while, but we were on good terms.  Looking back a decade later on this day when I talked to these two women whom I had come to know, I am reflecting on how different all of that was from my life in New Orleans just five years before, what I was trying to there in the spring of 2015, what it meant that I was trying to do it, and how different my life is now.

I didn’t know then that I was autistic.  I didn’t know that the things that I was trying to do then were largely hopeless.  Even once I learned only two years later that I am autistic, I didn’t know what that meant.

What I did know, and what I even vaguely mentioned in that blog article, is that I couldn’t stay in New Orleans, even though I loved and cherished it.  I just didn’t have a face-saving way to leave, and the quite-uninspiring one that I finally found in 2019-2020 came too late.

Thursday, The 15th

I was trying to do a long-distance broadside shot here at Thibodaux Junction, and I am about a mile away from the track here.

That was a westbound UP Railroad train, probably the MCXEW, with nine locomotives, the large number of locomotives mostly defeating the purpose of trying to render it with a broadside view, because it means that you see very little of the train itself.

I had been thinking of trying to do this shot and was taking advantage of the light being somewhat okay for it in late afternoons near the summer solstice.

Saturday, The 17th

A few days later, I am back at the same place, but I found no train; so, I photographed farm equipment.

I think that it is cool, but it also might have a not-so-great side.  It’s part of a long habit of longing for an idealized past, and the obsession with trains and the obsession with photographing them seem to be a component of this way of thinking.  I am not the first self-aware, moody railroad photographer to note that this is actually a backwards-looking hobby and that maybe there are some drawbacks to that.

Still, though, it is a religion, and, to me, it is “correct” and right.

You can’t follow a moral compass other than your own, I guess.

That’s all.  Stay tuned for the “June 2014 Sampler” essay, which will have a new variety of images.


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