|THE LIBERATOR AT ACV, JUNE 2012|
I think of many of the midnight shifts where I spent the nights switching out railroad cars in the Southern Pacific rail yard in Bakersfield. Most of those nights I would have preferred to be home in bed, but instead I was working in the dark amongst dangerous moving objects. What I did in those days was to go out and earn an income for my family. I worked hard at my job, and was well paid. I moved on and worked in train service, and eventually in engine service. I worked on the road all over southern California. In those days I seldom took time to appreciate that I was working with classic locomotives in an historical and important place. I just knew the day-to-day issues of employment.
It was only after I left the employment of the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, and a decade or two passed, that I started to see those shifts in the yard, and those runs over the Tehachapi Mountains as being somewhat romantic. In my mind's eye I realized that what I did then now seems like it would be fun.
The same is true for my military service. I cursed my luck and the Army during my time spent in South Korea. I was freezing on a missile base in the dead of winter and I would rather have been anywhere else. Now I wax nostalgic, thinking of the many adventures I had while there.
The above photograph makes me think of these things. If you look at yesterday's posting, you will see the same image. In today's version of this photograph, I "paint" a slightly rosier picture of the scene. I removed some elements that I think distract from the essence of what I wish to convey visually in this image, and like some elements of my history, I chose to look at what I want to see for myself, and to share with you.