Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy holidays and safe travels. See you here in the new year.

The Milwaukee Journal photo above was taken during the blizzard of January 29, 1947. The photo is reproduced here from the book Milwaukee Road Remembered, Jim Scribbins. The photo below is from a promotional flyer in my private collection. It … Continue reading

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Hairstyle for Lady Gaga, from 1915 Santa Fe poster

The poster is reproduced here from Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, The Trains We Rode, vol. 1, 1965 (in my personal library).

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“I don’t drink water because fish fuck in it.” W.C. Fields

The Yale Book of Quotations cites as its source for this quote Graffiti: Two Thousand Years of Wall Writing, by Robert Reisner, 1971. But W.C. Fields’ granddaughter says he didn’t exactly say the last part of the quote: what he said … Continue reading

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Santa Fe “de Luxe” loading to depart L.A., c. 1915. “Junior patently doesn’t want to go. The porter has begun in advance to hate his passengers, and the woman on the steps is getting ready to file complaints before the train moves out of the depot.”

The quote above is from the caption to this photograph in The Trains We Rode, vol. 1, Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, 1965 (from my personal library). I like the photo as much for the authors’ interpretation of it as for … Continue reading

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Clothed but missing one shoe, criminal lawyer Jake Lassiter wakes in early morning on Miami Beach with a security guard standing over him. So begins Paul Levine’s novel, State vs. Lassiter (published Sept., 2013)

  The tide is lapping toward Jake, and a sand sweeper will run over him if he doesn’t get up from the beach. But the mouthy nature of our hero immediately asserts itself, although once awake enough to reflect, even he … Continue reading

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Annapolis in winter, Woods Landing near Cape St. Claire–an ice-coated bridge I didn’t cross

Three times during my life in the Mid-Atlantic I’ve fallen on ice. Once I was hustling along through what I thought was light snow on the sidewalk and the next thing I knew was sliding half a block on my back. … Continue reading

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“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This amazingly moving six-word short story is attributed to Ernest Hemmingway.

I discovered this six-word story in the Twitter profile of Wordsmith@6wordchallenge. Researching, I learned that Smith magazine attributes the story to Hemmingway, but “rumor has it” says that no one has located a source or publication that establishes Hemmingway’s authorship of the six-word … Continue reading

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“…He was the helplessly contradictory mess that real people always are.”–Charles Dodd White

“It is a difficult piece that deals with family issues, but I believe it’s one of the more important things I’ve done as a writer,” says Charles Dodd White, at He’s talking of “Groupings,” an essay about fathers and sons and uncles and … Continue reading

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Montgomery Clift, Life magazine, 1949

I was browsing, a blog of beautiful photography, especially if you like men. This picture stopped me even before I knew who the man in the foreground is. Everyone in this casual scene makes me wonder what he or she is doing or what … Continue reading

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“Steamliner Memories,” my newest blog

I’ve begun posting my ’50s and ’60s rail fan collection at Above is a Santa Fe post card of their El Capitan in New Mexico, and below is the dining car on the Union Pacific City of Denver, as pictured … Continue reading

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