In Retrospect: Elgin NV

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Union Pacific Ohio Crane
February 6, 2013

Lynn was born and raised in Elgin Illinois. Imagine her surprise and delight when she discovered there was an Elgin Nevada. She had lived in Las Vegas for 7 years- we had been married for just under 1 year- when we finally decided to head out there. It was a pretty desolate area. The road had been washed away by a storm and had never been repaired. When we got to the town, there was nothing there. Just an old schoolhouse and a railroad crossing. And this Union Pacific Ohio Crane, peeking around the trees at us.

We have yet to go back but, if we do, I’m sure the road will be in the same state of disrepair.

And on a side note, Lynn and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary early next month!

(OK, I just googled Elgin NV and Wikipedia says; “Elgin is a ghost town located between Caliente and Carp, Nevada on the eastern banks of the Meadow Valley Wash off of Nevada State Route 317.

A former railroad town, it is now the location of the Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Site, a one-room schoolhouse museum. There is an apple orchard nearby.

As of May 2008, the State Historic Site is permanently closed due to the damage to the only road leading to the site, Nevada State Route 317, caused by flooding.”)

Homeward Bound

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Union Station Information
Los Angeles CA

I tell you, I’ve got a serious travel bug right about now. I always hated the traffic in L. A. whenever we’ve ventured out that way, but we spent a week there house sitting and had the best time ever. So much to see and do. So we’re going out locally today for one of our “spont” trips. Meanwhile, Lynn is researching some places for us to go to with her sister and her husband the first week of May. Right now it looks like Zion and possibly Antelope Canyon. Then I have a trip to Minnesota the end of May to visit more family. Anyway…

I’ve always had a fascination with train travel. I’ve gone cross country- back and forth- twice in the past and really enjoy it, though It’s longer and costs a lot more money than flying. So it was a natural choice for me to visit LA’s Union Station when we were there two weeks ago. I couldn’t get an angle from the outside that I liked so concentrated on the inside.

Waiting Room
Union Station

The place is considerably smaller than New York’s Penn Station or Chicago’s Union Station. But no less interesting.

More Information at
Union Station

And did you know LA has a subway system? I thought that would have been impossible, what with all the faults and earthquakes running through there. But somebody must have been a good salesperson and sold them on the idea.

Los Angeles Metro Rail
Under Union Station

OK, I might as well give you one exterior shot. But this is not the Station itself. It is an office building across from the Union Station Plaza.

Office Building
Union Station Plaza

And yes, the title of his post is borrowed from Paul Simon’s song of the same name. I can’t help but hum that song to myself whenever I’m in a railway station.

Homeward bound,
I wish I was homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting silently for me.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

In Retrospect: Boulder City NV

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This weekly feature of mine, entitled IN RETROSPECT is to highlight images that were underappreciated by me when I first shot them. Either they languished in my archives for years or I did not like the processing I did back then. So you get to see them for the first time again! Make sense?

Anyway, this shot was never used because it was just a shot of a black car bumper with a too busy background. I like the way it turned out after I started playing with it.

Joe, what year Chevy is it?

And below, as an added bonus, is a shot of the interior.

And one more shot of the interior where, through the windows, you can get an idea of what Boulder City looks like.

Now, my question: If Boulder City originally built in 1931 as housing for workers who were building the Boulder Dam, was named for the Boulder Canyon Project, and since the name of Boulder Dam was changed to Hoover Dam in 1947, shouldn’t the city now be called Hoover City?

It just makes sense to me.

A Common Sea

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I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunset at The Salton Sea

On our last day of vacation in Los Angeles, we decided to head south and drive through the Anza Borrego desert on our way home. We ended up just before sunset at Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.

The Ruins at Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area, however, many of the settlements have been abandoned, mostly due to the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake over the years from agricultural runoff and other sources.

Dead Fish Along The Shoreline

Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. Dead fish have been known to wash up in mass quantities on the beaches. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea.

Remains of an Abandoned Structure on the Shoreline

Many people now visit the Salton Sea and the surrounding settlements to explore the abandoned structures.The US Geological Survey describes the smell as “objectionable”, “noxious”, “unique”, and “pervasive”.

Noah’s Original Ark (?) at Bombay Beach

In Retrospect: Sloan NV

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Let me just say right now, these photos were not taken in Sloan NV. The factory was nestled into the foothills somewhat southeast of the town of Sloan. There is no town or city nearby. We went off road in our (now quite dead) 2006 Hyundai Sonata and saw metal shining up in the hills so went to discover the remains of a blacktopped road washed out in spots, and a metal gate preventing us from driving any further. If you know my wife at all by now, that inconsequential gate did little to deter her. She climbed over it and I followed behind, a lamb to the slaughter. See, I always imagine that a gate means “do not enter” or “go no further” and that 300 pound rednecks with guns- gender is as inconsequential as the gate- with rifles will instantly appear. They did not. The place was deserted.

So I am enjoying rediscovering older photos of mine and reprocessing them “in retrospect”. Hope you are, too.

“The undiscovered places that are interesting to me are these places that contain bits of our disappearing history, like a ghost town.”

Ransom Riggs

Share Your World – March 20, 2017

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Olvera Street
Los Angeles CA

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I have repeated myself ad nauseum here, on my blog and in comments on other people’s blogs. My wife says I act as if I am 13 most of the time, and that works fine for me. I like being able to laugh at myself and others and sometimes maybe even comment on the absurdity all around us. And sometimes I like to be level headed and decisive. Wait, no, scratch that. I don’t like it but sometimes I have to do it. Especially in the business world. Then I’ll go home and vent, have a glass of wine, and revert to my 13 year old self once again. It’s harmless, and for the most part keeps me sane.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house? Since moving out here to the desert southwest I have not seen an umbrella anywhere in my house. Since getting married I have not seen an umbrella anywhere in our house. But then again I can’t seem to find anything in our house since getting married so, who knows? How do people do it? Combine the contents of two homes into one? Considering the size of our individual homes when we married, our house today should be almost 4,000 s.f.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone? We don’t have friends. We do everything by ourselves most of the time. If I need to recharge, it’s usually by myself. I’ll listen to classical music, or go out to Red Rock Canyon and sit on the side of the road with a view of the mountains and watch the low hanging clouds cling to the peaks. Most times recharging does not include photography or hiking but more like my own brand of introspection.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common. My spouse, partner, and best friend are is my wife. We have love in common. She loves me and I love me. What more do we need? Of course, there are times when love is not enough. Sometimes I get on her nerves and sometimes I get on my own nerves. That’s when we separate and go recharge. As for three things in common? The love of the outdoors, the love of soothing music, and the love of words.

La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles CA
(half a block from where we are staying this week)

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I have spent the last 10 days in and out of work with some kind of intestinal distress. No idea whether it was food poisoning or a flu of some kind. But I felt good enough yesterday to drive into L. A. with Lynn and house sit for friends while they vacation in London. So I am looking forward to exploring in a different locale for once- though the weather is being less than desirable. Overcast and threatening rain today. We are looking into visiting the Holocaust museum, which is about 10 minutes away. Then lunch at Canter’s Kosher Deli. We shall see.

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Thanks to Cee for these great questions once again! Go see! Go join!

Those Were The Days

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Rancho Cucamonga CA
March 5, 2017

By the time you read this, we should be on our way to spending a week in L.A. A four and a half hour drive from home that can take upwards of 2 to 4 additional hours of road time depending on traffic. And there is always traffic in L.A. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, not far from Universal Studios and just over the hill from Hollywood. Man, have things changed. Lots more people, more traffic, more crowded. The streets seem narrower now, and places where we used to play no longer exist, the little league field, the empty dirt lot near the railroad tracks. We used to walk up to the the boulevard where the Lankershim Theater was and spend all Saturday at a double feature matinee. We thought that was heaven. Our parents did, too, I’m sure.

So we will be house sitting for friends who are off to London for the week. Right on La Cienega Blvd. Close to the Jewish community near Fairfax and Melrose (Canter’s Delicatessen- the best Kosher Deli), not far from Olvera Street (a Mexican outdoor market- mostly for tourists now), and the Disney Concert Hall.

So if I am pretty absent for a few days, you’ll know why. Hopefully I’ll be out shooting!

In Retrospect: Lucerne Valley CA

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Lucerne Valley CA
May 14, 2013

It was our one year anniversary. Romantic, no? But this was not where we stayed. We were on our way to Big Bear Lake on State Route 183 through Lucerne Valley CA when we came upon this abandoned home in the middle of the desert. Well, what was I to do? I left Lynn in the car and explored. It was a warm but windy day and the sounds the house made were eerie. Creaking and rustling and cawing. OK, the cawing was from the few crows that had taken up residence and they were not necessarily please to see me. At least Lynn hadn’t left me there. But 4 years later, she just might. As we used to say, the bloom is off the rose. She will follow me anywhere I want to go, but now I have the feeling she’s just looking for a place to dispose of the body, if it ever comes to that!

Where Is Dan Quayle Now That We Need Him?

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“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”
Dan Quayle

Obviously I had no title for this post. But it sort of fits if the tank pictured above is actually for water.

And for those of you old enough to remember him, doesn’t Mr. Quayle seem like a breath of fresh air, now?

So, anyway, I was playing around with a different post processing technique and came upon this combination, which looks great on my desk top. And Lynn complimented me on it. So it stays!