Friday, November 8, 2013

POTD: Once and Future Glory

Our last POTD this week is from ...drum roll plea--nah, nevermind. It's Chris May again. But the theme has been a new way to look a things. Chris is good at making you look at things in a new way. He's not content to merely log photos as a scribe of the way things are; he's looking for ways to challenge himself creatively. That's what makes me a fan of his work.

The rusting cab of Denver & Rio Grande Western GP30 engine 3011 sits near the museum's
restoration roundhouse awaiting the day when she will be brought back to life again.
Photo: Christopher May
For today's photo, we return to the Colorado Railroad Museum on a different day, November 11, 2006. There is no title for it, but for me it speaks to the "once and future glory" that I believe in. Personal disclosure ahead, which may make you uncomfortable. You can skip to the next paragraph if you choose. A year to the day before Chris made this photograph, I was standing in front of over 1,000 people telling them about my young son's friendship with a six year-old girl, sharing the fun little things kids of that age do as a way of comforting them because that beautiful, vibrant and imaginative girl had passed away due to a freak medical condition that no one could have anticipated or avoided. She died 8 years ago today. Like the rusted locomotive hulk, her body was inanimate, decaying and breaking down even as we mourned that day. 

EMD GP30 illustration by Tom Fawell
Engine 3011 was a GP-30, a beautiful, vibrant and strong engine, one of the class that inspired the art of EMD's illustrator Tom Fawell. See how the power flows from it, the angular lines of the locomotive charging forward? That's the once part of the glory. The future part is when we see 3011 perched again on standard gauge rails shining with new paint and number boards looking for all the world like the day in 1961 when it rolled out of the plant. Or maybe, just maybe even hauling a passenger special for the museum. It's a picture of what my faith tells me is real.◊

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