Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trains and Chicken. . .

High sunlight at Meacham Road. . .

My railroad photography production this year has been pitiful. Haven't really even been out once specifically to "get the shot," and what little I've done has been part of trips elsewhere.
Here's yesterday's example, a quick snap from the Meacham Road overpass in Saginaw while on the way home from E.'s baseball game (he went 0-2 at the plate), of a southbound BNSF McCook, Illinois to Pearland, Texas vehicle train. Not much of a photograph, and taken during high sun afternoon light, but the power is unusual, a pair of former Santa Fe B40-8's (or are these B39's? Whatever.).
I really should get out more. But with gasoline $3.79 a gallon and more than enough stuff at home to keep me busy (finishing the demolition of the Walla Walla Valley layout and the preparation of the room for the new Australian railroad), I guess I'm happy just stumbling across an occasional train while running errands.

Dig that 60's design!

While mindlessly noodling around on the internet, avoiding the temptation to check once more if any new photographs of topless starlets had been posted to, I somehow got the urge for fried chicken, and that led me on a trip down memory lane and a search for what passed for Fast Food in Littleton, Colorado, circa 1965: Denver Drumstick.

I don't really remember even visiting a McDonald's until we'd moved to Salt Lake City after 1969, and "fast food" as such wasn't really part of the American Culture back then. . .but, boy, the great memories of Denver Drumstick, perched along the side of Santa Fe Drive near Littleton (the paired Rio Grande/Santa Fe mainlines were across the highway). The coolest part of the place--to a six-year-old boy, anyway--were the American Flyer trains circling above the dining room. Keeping with the Denver theme, I remember them painted for the Rio Grande, and the best part was how they disappeared into the "Moffat Tunnel" into the take-out area, only to re-emerge a few moments later. The food was served in thin white cardboard boxes shaped like railroad cars--each ordering option was in a different type of car. The cardboard really soaked up the grease!

Check out this postcard from e-bay! I love that mid-century soaring roofline and the repeating triangular patterns, and the stylized chicken logo! And talk about your absolutism: the card declares not only that this is where "everyone eats chicken and shrimp" but that the total Denver seating capacity is 1500 people--take THAT, Colonel Sanders!

Alas, the Dumstick is but another fading Denver memory, from a time when going out for dinner was really a treat. I Googled the Santa Fe address and see that it is now a big, open, dusty vacant lot at an intersection along a big, busy highway. Columbine Horse track, Gates Tire and Rubber, and Denver Drumstick. . .all icons from my childhood, and all gone, gone, gone.

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