Monday, February 27, 2023

A few new ideas...

Recently, with the rise of digital artwork and online ordering we have seen options for custom-run freight cars on the market.  Operations like Home Shops LLC in cooperation with Tangent Scale Models and ExactRail have made some beautiful and plausible freelanced road name releases.  

I am considering trying something similar with the Onondaga Cutoff, allowing our licensed use of the Conrail logo to be employed which in turn would allow that modelers could 'own' a piece of official Onondaga Cutoff rolling stock.  Here's a first stab at the logo, based on a logo the company used in the 1990's for safety awards:

 I think it would be fun to have a Conrail boxcar for its usual service but to have this logo in a large format in addition to the usual Conrail name and logo.  What do you think?

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Value of Snapshots

 Browsing through one of the old photo albums of my early photography, back when I used my mom's point & shoot camera to shoot some print film of trains we came across, I was inspired to share one here.  This is August 1990, Dewitt, NY, an image taken by my mother as we made a quick stop at the Dewitt engine yard.

From left to right you have me, my cousin Matt, Jack in the backround and my brother Ben on the right.  Behind us is weeks-old C40-8W 6098, 13-year-old B23-7 1975, U23B 2795, and a bunch of other locomotives out of the frame.   

August 1990 would have been one of the trips to Skaneateles and Marcellus, NY, likely to see The Dean Brothers play - my uncles' rock n' roll harmony band.  These were some of the legendary trips in my mind that clearly played a foundational role in the idea of the Onondaga Cutoff.  

Jack is there with us, traveling up with us in the minivan like he did most summers in that era for long weekends.  Ben and I did nearly everything together in that era, a time I remember fondly despite the contrast of my mom's fight with cancer which had just started again, and my sister whose illness would haunt her for the rest of her time.  

I'm 13 in this photo, headed into 8th grade.  Well before thinking of college, I am already wearing a Syracuse University shirt, where I'd actually end up a student just 5 years after this photo.  The Rio Grande hat fits the mood, it's always been my favorite railroad - but Conrail is tangible, exciting, and bright, just like is seen here.  

The memories fade on their own to some degree, but the sentiment does not, and photos like this one bring it all back in full color.  So, take some snapshots!   And even if digital, get some prints made now and again of your recent favorites.  You'll come across them decades from now and they'll do their thing - take you back, in your mind, for a few moments.  The best way to appreciate the present is to be aware of the past and full of wonder about the future.