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Edition #131, August 1, 2010

Sunday After Church

Photographer: Lee Edgar

                                                                                   Photo by Lee Edgar

Sunday After Church

My wife is reasonably tolerant of my hobby…or so I am told.  I never fully understood the jokes ~ having to hide one’s film in the cookie jar or quantify model trains in terms of shoes ~ after all, how silly is that?  Very much so…that is, until I got married.  Now in all fairness, I suspect Marybeth never imagined how a family vacation might involve traversing secondary roads at the mere hint of an approaching train; but I digress.  True, railfanning is a simpler proposition for a bachelor, but arguably it is also far less exciting.  Take for instance, a recent Sunday in December ~ a sunny, yet unassuming morning that would otherwise be forgotten were it not for a fortuitous opportunity to photograph trains.  I don’t recall the circumstances that involved my preparing for church by myself that morning, but wife and daughter would not be attending, thus leaving me to my own devices.  I do however distinctly remember Marybeth’s keen senses as I astutely grabbed my camera before heading out the door.

“Wait, you’re going to church; what you need a camera for?” (She knew the answer, but she wanted to hear me to say it)

“Just in case.”

“In case what?”


“In case there’s a train.”

The ensuing debate proved a mere formality; still the satisfaction of leaving for church victoriously with camera in hand to capture what trains may come was no less memorable for it.  I did attend church that morning, but lost little time afterward in heading down to the station.  Upon arrival, I found several passengers readily awaiting their train, leaving me just enough time to seek permission from the agent and set up for a shot.  Capturing the train’s arrival in a limited ¾ view from the platform however proved less than satisfying.  I continued down the platform to an old set of stairs which led to street level, offering a unique vantage of the lead unit, Amtrak Genesis #158 as it rolled over the adjacent plate girder span.  The modern locomotive and bright blue sky above are in stark contrast to the dark, aging structure and the host of trains that occupied the space in years gone by.  A simple, yet rewarding composition on anything but a typical Sunday after church; the purpose of which few wives will understand.

Lee Edgar

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