A young Johnathan Stensland among the photos in the folder 09-09-07:
Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will include what I’m sure might have been the wedding of the year in 2007!
This concludes the photos of the few hours I spent with Shorty on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad back in July.
I have many influences on my photography. It ranges from other artists to movies to television shows to friends to family. However, one of the most obscure influences on my photography is a book I was given as a child called simply TRAINS. I still have that book. It is a little worse for the wear and Karma chewed up the binding 15 years ago or so. I still crack it out and look through it now and again.
That is a little peek into my methodology.
Every year I feel myself compelled to go down to the B&SVRR when they are scamming small children and draining the coffers of their parents with Thomas the Tank. I admit that it really isn’t their doing. They put on a pretty good show. There is a magician and a petting zoo. There are characters from the show. There is a funnel cake stand. Actually it is “the funnel cake stand”. If you’ve never had a funnel cake from the Kruse funnel cake stand my friend, you’ve never actually had a funnel cake at all. Plus they have real train rides like their dinner train or their excursion train. However, Thomas the Tank is a lie. He is no train engine. He is a glorified caboose and the kids fall for it every time.
I’m a firm believer that a person shouldn’t lie to their children. There is no reason to have your children believe in things like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. It just sets them up for a lifetime of disappointment when they realize that other mythical objects like social mobility and the American Dream are as real as a 7 foot rabbit that hides eggs on the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God. Although it does teach them to learn at an early age that authority figures (employers and the government) will lie to you at every conceivable opportunity. Perhaps there is something to lying to your children.
It is because of this that I think that parents should make it very clear to their children that Thomas the Tank is nothing but a glory hound. He isn’t doing any real work. The real work is being done by that engine in the back. It doesn’t have a face, but it is the one that deserves your respect.
Why is it that I feel compelled to go see this charade every year? I admit that Thomas does have a certain allure. For not doing anything, I feel compelled to look into his eyes to make sure that this isn’t the beginning of the machine revolution. The one foretold in the book of Maximum Overdrive. I believe you may have seen the movie they made based on this prophetic text starring Emilio Estevez. What I saw when I looked into Thomas’ eyes this year is that we are still at least a year from the coming of the semi with the green face.
Also, I go down there to see Shorty. He always volunteers for the B&SVRR when Thomas is in town. He is also going to do the Santa Express again this year. However, I got a surprise when I found out that Johnathan was going to be volunteering. He has never been a community service type of chap, so this I definitely had to see and digitally record.