Bit of a repost but

Yeah I have shared before but “simpler times” came up in a thing I was listening to today…and Milwaukee electrics also came up on a thing I was reading.

Yeah simpler times indeed

Portola Museum September 17th, 1996

Towards the end of his life, Dad was retired and restless. He spent a lot of time with my son and for that I am ever grateful.

Occasionally, he would feel well enough to take Mom and head to museums that he supported through donations, to “see where my money is going” and he’d smile.


This slide set is one photo with two approaches.

The first is only trimmed to avoid the second and Gimp did that for me – somehow. ( ) but I cannot outsmart the colour adjusting.

I like Gimp and appreciate it but the wife works for and it is more powerful in a lot of ways so buy it please :0) I want to retire someday.


The WP Museum at Portola, California <<< CLICK THIS LINK AND SUPPORT is family friendly, has hands on opportunities and is living history.

I really appreciate the composition here and although slightly trimmed at the right, the depth is fascinating, to me anyway. Actually it looks like an H.O. model.

Image of the original slide in the mount.
That’s the way it goes !

And then there is the reality of the image. Not the end of roll where you often see these sorts of things, but right in the middle.

But it was (is) a keeper and you may want to while away some time at their gallery : too.

Critter MAR 1991

photo of a white home made rail gasoline powered small vehicle with a trailer
Critter for Life

Here is a funny one. Seems to be home made or at least basic. The image is dark – sorry I am trying GIMP the freewear for images and its very different than Adobe Photoshop that is “too heavy” for the old lap top.

Anyway note the trailer and the fire extinguisher. No location noted

The Roundhouse & The Maverick

Photo a brick Southern Pacific Roundhouse showing a logo sign, bushes and windows.
The Roundhouse
Close up of the Ford Maverick in the larger image.
The Maverick

Sounds like an 90s’ Patrick Swayze squeal to “RoadHouse”, huh?

Not in this case though. This is March of 1971 and I think San Jose, California like a lot of this box of prints. In the previous post I mentioned that Dad bought a Maverick in Houston, Texas and there is is!

Dad flew to Texas for work one way with the intent to buy a car & rail fan on his way back I recall the excitement when Mom had to go get cash and put it in an envelope and pin it in my brother’s jacket and then took him to SFO for a one -way cash courier flight. Fred was a money mule ha ha.

Dad scored The Maverick and they traveled together for a week or two.

The Maverick was a trooper folks but Dad got took. The massive unibody area above the right rear wheel (see above) was actually a PILE of BONDO that cracked less than a year later. I recall that it almost looked like a map of the USA with each state re-sectioned – more like a map of all Counties. He was pretty disappointed if I recall.

“The Mav” or “Blue Thunder” was a 200 Cu IN straight 6 with a C3 automatic and 4 wheel drum brakes and it came with Air Conditioning. The AC was dealer add on for Texas and was removed pretty soon – Nor Cal needs no AC apparently. Dad, being a hill billy from Hillsborough, Ca., removed the R4 compressor and tossed it into teh ivy in the back yard. “Screw it, the next sap that owns this place can deal with it.” ( Yeah, I am that sap and I finally tossed it in about 2005 while on an ivy eradication program.

One Mav moment was chasing a triple header on the Sierra railroad (HEY LOOK A YOU TUBE LINK) that was a real wild ride for a 9 year old kid, Dad and brother.

Looking back I feel like Ralphie from A Christmas Story except it was a hot as balls foothills day

Dad driving, brother a little too young to drive, in the front passenger side of the split back vinyl bench seat. I am in the back “seat” such as it was. Pesky – always – in – the- way seat belts safely tucked out of the way for the life of the car.

The joy of alive steam and the thrill of the case.

Get the shot – run, get in !

Let’s go … gotta get ahead and park – oh look we are pacing !

Quick take the shot!!!!

GET IT ? GREAT let’s get ahead !

(Dad drove offensively – not defensively in these moments. As a child you adapt.)

HANG ON (screech off the asphalt to the gravel wide spot), dust and gravel fly.


( Like we were over Normandy in the 82nd Airborne June 5, 1944)

In position! on the photo line! ( no camera for me, I am just a kid ) and chuff chuff chuff here they come. Click and thumb – advance click, thumb advance the Mamayia {brother} and the Pentax {Dad} like these from Google Land .

Vintage Mamiya Camera
Vintage Pentax Camera

GET IN GO GO GO GO rrrrrrrr ( well fling of dirt and gravel anyway )

5 mph, 10 mph …. 20 mph,,, 30 mph and Dad hits the clutch to up shift…. slow motion as all hell carries out on the interior.

Se the C3 is an automatic and Dad was sued to driving teh truck that was a three on the tree so a 20 mph wind up was about the max to shift; in a chase 30.

I recall that my brother was on the dashboard sort of sideways with his head against the windshield.

Dad chested the steering wheel and expelled a Ssssshhhhhiiiiittttt really loud.

I recall mashing my face Jim Carey-like against the split back of the seats – right on teh split where the 1/4″ bead blue vinyl piping came together (my mouth tastes like vinyl as I write this).

Stuff flew everywhere – cameras and film bag and jackets. Floor mats too.

Dad didn’t allow food in cars and there were no water bottles or cell phones then of course.

It dawned on Dad ( he later admitted ) that as he reset into the upright position that he had been rammed from behind, no wait the transmission seized, no wait he hit something.

No wait he slammed the BRAKE (and he always had the best brakes for safety).

We lived – no damage at all and no one behind us to hit the Pinto style fuel filler so that was nice.

I suppose I’ll have to follow up with photos from this eventful chase and more about The Mav.

SP 2685 EMD SW1500

Southern Pacific EMD SW1500 number 2685 likely in the San Jose area approximately 1971.
SP 2685

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.

SP Budd RDC-1 No. 10 and you can help save it!

Front end view of Southern Pacific number 10 Budd Manufacturing  Rail Diesel Car type 1
SP RDC-1 #10

This is from September 1969 and although I am unsure where teh time line is right for Dad being in San Jose office.

Budd made quite a few Rail Diesel Cars however, SP only purchased one unit. This car is alive and here is the history :

There is one photo RRARCHIVES from a few months ago that states this car is actually slated for restoration at the planned Southern Pacific History Center

They have a donation pager here :

SP 3030 San Jose Service

Southern Pacific engine 3030 at the service center in San Jose California
San Jose Facility

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.

CalTrain public transit map
Cal Train 2020

SP 4001 Nose Detail MAR 71

Scanned at 600 Dpi – no adjustments
SP 4001 levels adjusted

Dad could, when he chose to, compose a photo.

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 :

Close up of front of engine with chains and brake wheel.

This part looks like a face looking away and sticking it’s tongue sticking out.