1981 was a 9 weeks on the road year like 1978 was. Leave in June when school ended and return in September when just before school started.
It’s kinda funny that just yesterday my oldest friend and I were discussing my strange memory and then I came across this box of Milwaukee Road images.
I seem to have the ability to recall in great detail places I visited once or twice while on the road and I still ” see ” my hometown as it was in the 70s… drive’s my wife nuts when we are there and I call out lunch at Arthur’s liquors ( its been a Mexican place since about 1980 ) .
See I can recall precisely the place this was taken, the heat and even a bit of the discussion Dad and I had about the “domes that contained palm trees”.
This terrarium seemed odd since we have three palms in the yard at home. “…think winter… ” was his reply. Oh, yeah.
I did check Google for confirmation – that the spot was the same.
Dad loved Washington and Oregon and the Milwaukee was there with his beloved SP&S.
This is August of 1973 and was probably a weekend between weeks that he had while working out of the Portland office.
See way before work at home and the internet, you actually had to leave your family behind and go to a different city to work when “Voluen-Told” to do so. Also that was how you proved your self & ascended in a company. Yep days gone by for sure.
Based on the RR Archive, this would have been five years into the upgrade from U28 to U30B.
Although a little shady at the left this image was worth the scan and adjust. The unit is EMD SW1500 and based on the RR Archives; its all of about two years old here … estimating by the other prints in this box.
That archive link shows it in pretty rough shape and makes me think that this little work horse was never repainted.
Also a guess but I think San Jose, California – or thereabouts. Dad did work in the Houston office for a time in 1970 where he bought a used Ford Maverick but the hills say California to me.
The Peninsula Commuter started in 1863 and made it as a private enterprise until Southern Pacific petitioned for dissolution in 1977.
Dad rode it from Burlingame to San Francisco and occasionally to San Jose for work. Mom & I used to take him in the ’62 Chevy Biscayne or he would take the Jeep. I recall him saying that if he was running late, he would get on at the California Drive Station and shut the Jeep off and hop out letting it “self-park” by rolling to a stop in gear and stalling against the parking stops made from telephone poles. Was ahead of Tesla on that score.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, he and grandma would ride from San Mateo (well, Broadway, Burlingame Station) to San Francisco to go to Emporium for a day of shopping.
Kudos to Wiki for the link and the maps below here.
Now its CALTRAIN that is continuing the tradition of mass transit.
If he was alone and unhurried he would take his time to assemble an image. Some of his earlier work was that way, like from the 40s … and of girls mostly. Some of his Hawaii images from the pre statehood days are pretty good too link to : Wix FredsSlides.
The magic of black and white is never lost when one composes a shot. Matthew Brady, Ansel Adams and Dorethea Lang proved that.
Here we have the luxury to play with settings in Photoshop and I do that on occasion. I do more now that I am using Wordlress.Com (I cannot put the time in for .ORG version that is much more robust).
So I did that here.
I like the moody shadows of the Alco and the crisp detail of the support structure at left and the Chevy or Ford van. Even the ballast has depth and shadows.
Lighter brightness and lower contrast does enhance dome of the shadow surfaces and reveals the brake wheel detail.
I see some value to this of course. But I am no photographer and it can be learned I suppose.
Below reveals what a simpleton I am though :
This part looks like a face looking away and sticking it’s tongue sticking out.
If you don’t know, you are supposed to post an Alternative Text in a box when you post on a blog. It helps the sight impaired to have their computer read the caption for them; it’s an ADA thing. Some folks don’t do it but I always do…. My eyesight is shit and so was Fred III (Dad) and Fred IV (brother) were the same – so it’s respect.
The best part is that I have to actually think a bit about things when I post and really try to get an accurate description.
Part of the Alt Text rule is that you can’t just copy/paste over and over because it’s a disservice to the sight impaired and I agree.
Here is the copy/paste of that text “Southern Pacific engine 3031 with six passenger cars headed south toward San Jose, California”.
The page gets read as well and I feel like I can add more here :
First, giving credit where credit is due, there is a link to the rrarchives here that tells the history.
Secondly, I am pretty sure that this was in the South Bay where Dad and Brother would go photograph FMs on weekends, and Dad would on week days – they knew this generation of SP diesels was aging out.
Third, I did fiddle with the brightness and contrast since the original shot is dark. Nowadays, that is done in Photoshop and super easy. Honestly though, posting a dark shot of history still counts, so I’ll share good and bad.
“Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower is my inspiration and has little to to with my father Fred Klyver III or my brother Fred Klyver IV, both of whom contributed to the photos herein. However, I do think that they would have agreed with “Ike” in this sentiment.
Therefore, I feel it is important to think of these two people I liked and also you, the follower that has an interest in the subjects shared here – 99.99% are trains.
These sides have been stored in their Kodak little yellow boxes since they were returned from developing and they serve no one in that capacity.
I hope that you enjoy these slides and can help identify the location of these photos – Dad never marked the slide location and FRED IV did so sparingly.
My goal is to “locate” all the images, mark them and then DONATE them to the appropriate Historical society. A friend once said “These slides are history, and they should be shared” and I have to agree.
P.S. This WordPress blog is an intended to share the photos beyond Facebook, where I have posted for many years. For some cool photos check there, I’ll be going onward here and sharing this there,,,, Does that make sense?
Thanks for reading and stay tuned & tell a friend about this site to spread the images,
Welp today would have been Fred’s 92nd birthday and I managed to grab this print of his.
Although undated it represents SP 4449 before restoring to make The American Freedom Train and then the Daylight thereafter.
Dad lived a few houses off the SP Peninsula line where 4449 and friends used to run by all day, shaking the house like a Three Stooges movie. He credited his interest in trains to this Amazon proximity to these giant, fire breathing beasts.
That was when San Mateo Drive was dirt … he told me about the sight of the elephant towing the steam calliope north up the slight hill with the man playing the circus “oomph path path oompah” music frantically, much to his amusement as a little boy.
That makes sense to me, the train connection…. Also the imagination of those traveling passengers and the places that he could only dream about.
Later in life we visited all 50 states, most several times, large part of Canada and Mexico too… all the while photographing the trains you see here.
Happy Birthday Dad, you would have been humbled by the appreciation shown by followers here.
But dude I wish you had marked the date and location on all these…
I’m visiting the desert this week and it’s 102f in the shade.
I’m reminded of the days of summer travels with Dad and Mom and occasionally Brother Fred across California and Nevada and Utah.
The hot super dry air kicks my ass more now than then; I’m spoilt by ocean side living these last few seasons.
Yet the familiar sage, sand a Roadrunner that has been around the back yard throughout the day make me think of the long days on Hwy 50 “chasing” trains .
The road would humm under the G78-15 tires and the brick like aerodynamic shape of Harvey ( the truck ) made a jet like background noise.
There was usually a scanner blasting through an 8ohm dynamic single speaker facing the transmission hump and a Ford Factory speaker facing the windshield, searching for an AM signal that would drift in and out.
This image is from later years I suspect but it’s nostalgic as it is going to get on an iPhone.