Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Little Photo...

In August  2011, CN Winnipeg engineer Mark Perry sent me the above photo by email. Being aware of my main blog Trackside Treasure and my interest in Manitoba railroading, Mark probably knew I'd like the photo.  It shows ex-CP 1413-1898 leading the Canadian - 11 ex-CN and ex-CP cars through Elie, Manitoba in November, 1980.  Taken by Lawrence Stuckey, Brian Schuff also of Winnipeg had added this print to his photo collection.  But Mark probably could not have predicted where the photo would lead. The following email exchange ensued:

Subject: Interesting #1 at Elie MB in the late 70's/early 80's
From the Brian Schuff collection, check out the units, an F and a E running elephant style!

That is one awesome photo, Mark.  Thanks for sharing.  Do you have an email contact for Brian, by any chance?

Brian is a dinosaur and does not have a computer, he either phones or snail mails it.....

Sounds like Brian's purchase of my VIA book, plus a conversation between you two ended up with Brian calling me tonight.  We had a great chat, and it sounds as if we were both photographing the same stuff 'back in the day'.  It also sounds as if Brian has a goal to get on the internet, and I joined you and the others who are encouraging him to try Yahoo, email, or whatever helps him connect with people like us who share his interests.  
[who's just been talking to someone who knows exactly what the significance of '8558' is]

Brian became one of my valued contributors, sharing many of his photos and those from his collection with me for my book project.  In fact, today I just finished scanning a few remaining prints for my collection, and will be dropping them in tomorrow's mail.  Another recent development involves Brian (described by his contemporary Mark as a dinosaur because he wasn't online at the time) joining us keyboard-enslaved hordes by getting online...soon.

You'll hear about it on Trackside Treasure when it happens, but be prepared to see lots of VIA material previously largely unseen.

But this initial photo launched a shipload of VIA-era photographs that added much to my second and third books.  Never underestimate the influence you can have on someone else, even through one seemingly insignificant email.


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