Sunday, January 7

2006 Award Winner: Past Power

Note: Accepted as one of the world's finest Transportation Images of 2006 for Canon POTN Book published in the Fall of 2007.

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Some fifty years ago when The Pennsylvania Rail Road built Engine #9331, everything seemed like... like they seemed to every youngster. The rest of the world was in war-worn shambles. And America looked forward with all the power of this guy. Colors were more brilliant then. Scents stronger. Noises warmer and with this sort of muscle we could do it all. And everyone else paid us to do it. Sent us their wealth: built up our seed corn.
Today, the nation's mightiest railroad, The Pennsylvania, is a fast fading memory. The rest of the world's rebuilt both their stuff and their dreams. And now, as we mature, we look at the muscles on Engine #9331 and wonder how, when we weren't paying attention, their mass and color faded. Except in the memories of those few who yet remember a time when we could do everything. Before we fattened on fast-fried seed corn.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ted, I'm not sure if that image is brilliant or what. At first sight I thought, gosh, that high-contrast zebra pattern is distracting, and in a way it is, but what it actually does, it stops me down. Together with the bright yellow, it draws so much attention, that I really need to look closer to recognize the engine in the cover of its muted colors. Probably the image IS brilliant :)

Ted Byrne said...

Thanks, brilliant is a wonderful word. ("Say it soft and it's almost like praying...."). And you will notice the emphasis upon the engines front upper corner... I thought of it as a shoulder or even a nose that's almost impertinently in-your-face, which is why I emphasized it.