It was still enjoyable to watch for first 30 seconds.  Sounded a little like my 6 yr old calling out the road names on 1:1 auto carriers as they roll by us.  He usually gets a wave from the engineer. 

But then he just turned 6.  

Maybe this clip is a good example of why people think the train hobby is weird.

Not me, nosiree. I'm gonna' dawn my RR patch-covered vest and striped "Engineer's Hat" (with all the RR pins on it), sling three or four cameras around my neck  an' hoot n' holler an' jump up an' down every time I see a train.

I ain't weird, just enthusiastic 'cause I love me some trains.


laming posted:

Not me, nosiree. I'm gonna' dawn my RR patch-covered vest and striped "Engineer's Hat" (with all the RR pins on it), sling three or four cameras around my neck  an' hoot n' holler an' jump up an' down every time I see a train.

I ain't weird, just enthusiastic 'cause I love me some trains.


This guy in the photo with me worked on the SW Division of the Frisco all his life minus multiple military services.  I was a little surprised to see pins on his cap at the reunion in 2015, but he was no "foamer".  He WAS a notorious "rant and raver" while he was always a great railroader. 

There is no way to know, but Jim may hold the world record for: most men laying off his pool.  My timebook had his name splashed all over it, top to bottom.  Fond, yet tough made memories.J Sanders 


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SouthernMike posted:

Real or fake, stuff like this is what makes the general population believe ALL railfans are nutjobs. Also why I mostly keep my ferroequine proclivities to myself. Outside of my "Train Friends" very few people know of my addiction. 

Reminds me of when many railfans were celebrating that the character Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory was depicted as being a railfan/model railroader, seemingly oblivious to the idea that it was being used to further reinforce the idea that Sheldon is an oddball and a wierdo.

RoyBoy posted:

Even without the sound, how can anyone stand to watch a video that is so jerky? Folks need to learn to move the camera SMOOTHLY and not jerk it around like that. Nauseating.

Saw a YouTube video recorded at a concert, one of the comments was "It's not a garden hose!" and that there should be regulations preventing users who jump, jerk, with constant in/out zooming! 

Folks who have a problem with my being a railfan suffer from a self-inflicted wound.  I couldn't care less what they think of me or my hobbies.  I probably feel similarly about theirs.  For example, I cannot understand sports fans at all.  Spectator sports have exactly zero interest to me, and I think those who spend time watching sports are wasting their time.  But it's their time to spend, and I certainly don't make a habit of criticizing them for it.  People who think my hobby is weird are welcome to keep their mouths shut around me about it, or they won't be around me anymore than I can help.

And I do have RR pins on a cap, but I don't wear it as often as I wear my slouch hat with the emblems of my re-enacting unit on it (see my profile pic) because a slouch hat is much more useful as a hat than a ball cap is.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

All this talk of railroad badges on hats reminded me of a story.

Back in the 1980s when I was producing the Hopewell Productions video, "Queen of the Fleet" about N&W "J" No. 611, I wrote a letter to O. Winston Link. I wanted to interview him for this video because he was instrumental in convincing the N&W to save the J and the 1218. This was before the days of email and internet, so a type-written, hand-signed letter was what I sent. About a week later I got a very nice but somewhat formal letter in the mail back from him. In that letter he said that he would agree to do this interview, provided that the interviewer did not have long hair and was not wearing a hat full of railroad badges!

I wrote back and told him that I had found a single railroad badge in my desk that I immediately threw away. I also told him that I had checked around the office and the only person here with long hair was my wife, The Lovely and Gracious Linda. That broke the ice! Winston's next letter to me was a very friendly one, and we established a time and place to shoot this interview. It's in the video.

Winston was one of the most talented photographers ever to point a camera at a train. This is perhaps his most famous and best-known image, shot at the drive-in theater in Ieager, West Virginia.

Winston Link Drive-In Shot

You can see a large collection of Winston's work HERE.

Rich Melvin


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Rich Melvin posted: know this is all "fake news", right? Totally bogus.

This was debunked as a fake, put up job a couple of years ago.

I did a search on here, You Tube, and google.  Could not find anything about this.  (Did not go through all nearly 5,000 comments). The video seems to be 4-5 years old.





Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

I don't think being a railfan is the problem, I think like sports or any other hobby the problem is when it becomes out of balance with other things.  Being a railfan is not weird, being obsessed with something is really the issue, whether it is sports, or a hobby, or pretty much anything else. A parent who is protective of their child is a good parent, a parent who obsesses about everything in the kid's life is problematic (think about some of the little league parents of years past, a dying breed these days and thank God for that), or in the Star Wars universe the fanboys who practically foam at the mouth if they don't like the way a particular movie is done and make it seems like someone committed a war crime, give death threats, etc.....way out of whack with reality.  

With railfans, there is a line there IMO. I have had some wonderful conversations with rail enthusiasts, who are only too glad to share their knowledge and love of something without trying to make the other person look like an idiot and when I finished the (often long) conversations, I came away appreciating the subject more. On the other hand, you have those who if you ask them something, seem to feel like knowing something you don't know gives them the right to answer the question while making clear they think you are an idiot (and this isn't, of course, just extreme railfans).

I ran into this with a local group of rail enthusiasts who restore old trains near where I live, over the years I had conversations with them about what they were doing (been a while, I don't know how they are these  days), in part to see if they had interest in another set of hands, and I was kind of taken aback at the attitude, instead of being doing something fun they loved, it was like some sort of priesthood or the world depended on what they were doing with attitudes to match, yet I know for a fact that they have had trouble getting new blood (wasn't just me, I guess) and also were upset that they had the reputation of being clannish and not very friendly...

No different with sports, just take a look at the behavior of soccer fans in England, people getting bloodied at a stupid football game (several years ago I was at a Jets/Giants game on Christmas eve that was over the top bad), you name it, there is a line between being a fan or have a love for something and being unhealthily obsessive. I am sure O. Winston Link had good reason for his response to Rich (though he missed on important thing in his question back to Rich, how he felt about the word "lashup" *lol*), there are fans and there are over the top obsessives, the later are hard for fellow fans to deal with, let alone the general public. 



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