Above: Beaumont, Kansas
Below: northwest Salina
I’ve got the freight train blues
Oh, lawdy mama got em on the bottom of my ramblin’ shoes
And when the whistle blows, I gotta go
Baby don’t you know
It looks like I’m never gonna lose
The freight train blues.
– Bob Dylan
Last week I explored areas where my brothers and I played when we were kids. Creeks, railroads tracks, and the places waiting for discovery on the edges of town were the big things in our life. Can’t speak for my brothers, but I haven’t changed much.
I know now that railroads were already on the decline even when we saw the last of the steam locomotives thunder by. Now, seeing the old tracks (where they haven’t already been picked up) disappear into weeds, and truck trailers staged where the locomotive used to steam through, chafes against what I remember. The tracks at Beaumont don’t affect me as strongly. Maybe they’ve always been covered with grass. I doubt it, but seeing the changes in my hometown neighborhood makes a deeper impression. The rhythms of life change and much is also improved in my home town. It’s still one of my favorite cities, and I apologize for the photos that don’t do it justice. But, that’s not what I’m here for.