Saturday, October 6, 2007

Waiting, still waiting. . .


This would look better with a train on the bridge. . .

After running a few errands Friday, I decided to spend the afternoon attempting a little railroad photography. It was God-awful hot for October, and humid, and the sun seemed high and light uninspiring when I came across Fort Worth Western's Tolar turn awaiting departure from Hodge Yard with a huge train behind two SD40's and a pair of GP50s. Why not follow him? After hanging around the Trinity River park downtown and deciding the light wasn't right for the "standard" shot of the wooden trestle, I backpedaled to the north side of town and photographed the train crossing a branch of the Trinity River from Oakwood Cemetery. Acceptable, not great.


The Oakwood Cemetery shot. . .

Knowing FWWR's propensity for fast-running south of Fort Worth, I hightailed it down US 377, and out Winscott-Plover road to wait for the train near MP15. There's still rural country out here, but don't look long! It was hit-and-miss with the clouds, and the clouds won, but the FWWR's bright yellow and blue paint still looks good under clouds. The weeds/grass have had a good wet summer to encroach on the right of way, negating several potential shots on the way into Cresson, so I highballed to Cresson and photographed the turn setting out empty sand cars.



Tolar Turn at MP16. . .

I topped off the fuel and headed straight for the shot of the bridge over Lake Granbury, a scene I'd not photographed in 12 years of living in the area. The light was nice and getting better. I waited. . .and waited. . .and waited some more. Wondering where the hell the train was after waiting nearly an hour, I called Ken Fitzgerald, who placed a call to FWWR's dispatcher and informed me the train had left Waples. "He won't be too long getting there," Ken said. Another half hour passed. No train. The only cloud in the sky approached the sun--the train HAD to be close, I figured. . .the cloud passed, still without a train. By now, it was 6:15pm, and I was due to meet my family for dinner at 7:00, so I reluctantly abandoned my spot on the shoulder of East Pearl Street, on the bridge over the lake and parallel to the railroad bridge. Hosed again


Tolar Turn sets out at Cresson. . .

Idle Thoughts while standing on a bridge. . .
While standing on the bridge for well over an hour, I had to do something to pass the time of day, besides being the target of yelps, yells and obscenities hurled by Hood County males driving big pick-up trucks who seemingly have nothing better to do than harass a middle-aged photographer standing on the shoulder of the road. It seemed like lots of folks--well, women--were talking on cell phones as they drove by. . .one, yapping away as she passed a slower-moving vehicle on the shoulder of the bridge. This got me to thinking. . . I counted the next 100 vehicles. Of these, 62 were driven by men, 38 by women. Of the 38 women, 12 were talking on cell phones. Of the men, only three. What this means, I won't conjecture.

On the drive back to Fort Worth, my prejudices against Texas drivers were once again rewarded. Doing 70 in a 60 zone, I was passed by a tailgater (again, young male in a pick-up truck) on the shoulder. An empty drilling company tanker truck bounced across the corner of a vacant lot to create his own turn lane at a stop light. I love it. Yee-haw.

E.'s Day. . .
This afternoon, between my truncated sleep and the neighbor daughter's first birthday party, E. had his fourth game of the season in his "fall ball" coach pitch league. He moved up from T-ball, and it has been quite a transition--not all-together smooth, as he's clearly a half-year younger and less coordinated than the rest of his teammates. Having someone throw a ball at you is quite a change from hitting it off a tee. . . and E. is one of just a few players who are having their first exposure to this new type of baseball. So far, he's played in the outfield each game, which he isn't too happy about, since he'd rather be "in the action" in the infield. But, that time will come, as his team's infeld is pretty good--they can hit, field, throw, and catch, all skills E. is still a little shaky at.
But E. does have his enthusiasm going for him, and when he applies himself and focuses on what is going on, he does have a lot of hustle. Today, he had a couple of little dribbler hits, but was engaged the whole game, enthusiastic, and rooting for his team. As a result, he was quite pleased when Coach Kevin awarded him one of the Game Balls. He was so proud. And so were we. Way to go, little dude.

1 comment:

~ guido said...

Mr. Kooistra,

I used to work for the FWWR, 2008-2012, in M/W. I'm at a hotel in Greely, CO for work - we do rail design and permitting and we're here to look at a frac sand project. At the hotel in the bathroom is a framed and matted photo of three scenes - a horse at a fence, a wagon wheel leaning on a brick wall, and a locomotive. To my surprise it's blue and yellow and is numbered 2015. It's a head on shot only slight view of the side so I can't make out any writing on the side in shadow but it's the two yellow chevrons on the blue short hood! So I looked up the FWWR 2015 online to compare and found your blog. Thought I'd share the fun story with you. What are the chances? Best wishes. ~ guido from Ft. Worth