Railroads were once common in my life. My mother was a secretary at the Canadian Pacific Railroad HQ in Montreal. Close by our house were two double track railway lines where trains moved constantly every day – huge trains pulled by chains of locomotives. One was the CPR, the other was the CNR. Both went from coast to coast and everywhere in between. I took the CPR Canadian across Canada and back, on vacation with my parents. I once took the CNR Super Continental out to Edmonton. Then I switched to flying, like everybody else. The train got too expensive here, but not in Europe. The last train ride I took was from Geneva to Dusseldorf a few years ago. That cost 100 Euro! I never see trains on Vancouver Island now; there are none. All we have is an abandoned railway line that some people are forever trying vainly to resurrect, which will in all likelihood never happen in my lifetime. Freight still moves by train, although I never see a freight train. One of the first songs I learned to play was Freight Train. I met some hobos in Thunder Bay once, at the rail-yards, when I was attempting to hitch a ride across Ontario. They said they were going to jump a freight train, but since I had no food and no idea where that train was going, I declined to join them, so I took the train to Montreal, sitting in coach overnight and all of several days for $60.
Category Archives: Railroadiana
This weekend we made a day trip up island to buy some great German style rye bread from our favourite bakery, visit the street market, hunt through thrift shops and eat at the brew pub. We did all that, and I was hoping to find a rare 1914-1920 Royal 10, which of course I did not. There seem to be many old Underwoods however, but Royals? Nope.
Along the way I took some pictures and bought some fascinating vintage stuff at various thrift shops. One was this incredibly colourful old Italian made nativity scene. One piece had an old Woolworth’s price tag on the bottom; 35 cents. I set it up at home and took some photos with various lenses to try to get all the figurines in focus, which was impossible. I resisted the urge to insert a little gnome/elf with a rake, which would fit perfectly but might be considered offensive, so I’ll merely mention the concept. The elf, in my mind, would have represented Santa Claus, who arguably, was out on his first mission. If you believe in Santa, that is.
I also had to grab this 1957-59 Kodak Brownie Model I, made in London. On the street I saw a Christmas tree and placed it there to take the picture above. That was item 2 from the 1950’s, assuming the Nativity was such. It might be!
Then there was the red caboose. Definitely 50’s, at least it was when I was there. And definitely no longer available in any store, or ebay, unlike the first 2 items.
This scene picture has a timeless feel to it, so I thought it fit well with the theme.
And finally, what is more December than frost on dead leaves?