Sunday, September 25, 2016

Patty Wait (née Williams)

“What I need to know is what we are doing,” I said to Patty Wait yesterday as we breakfasted in a restaurant.
Both Patty and I are Class of ’66 at Houghton College (“HO-tin;” as in “hoe,” not “how” or “who”), about 75-80 miles south of Rochester.
Patty only did two years; pre-nursing perhaps. I did the entire four years, first in my family to earn a college degree.
As I recall, both Patty and I worked in the college kitchen. Patty is very sociable, as opposed to me. So we struck up a friendship.
At that time she was “Patty Williams;” she married a non-Houghton guy named “Dave Wait.”
“Perhaps it’s because I lost the best friend I ever had, and you might lose the best friend you ever had,” I said.
“I’ve lost him already,” Patty said.
Patty’s husband Dave has some sort of degenerative brain disease, or diseases, akin to Alzheimer’s, or including Alzheimer’s, that has reduced him to “a toddler in an adult body,” as Patty describes it.
He also has aphasia, and can hardly talk at all. I have aphasia too, resultant from my stroke, but only slight. In my case it’s difficulty assembling words for speech, not writing.
So I don’t like making phonecalls or conversing. I usually get by, but can lock up. Stony silences, etc.
“Wassa matter? Cat got your tongue?”
Patty suggested she was developing aphasia herself. She was forgetting words.
I don’t think so. To me that’s senility; I have that too.
Aphasia is different. I’m speaking with an area of my brain that wasn’t designed for speech — or so it seems. I’m speaking from what remained after my stroke.
She noted Dave seems to have forgotten their daughter.
“Does he know who you are?” I asked.
“Yes. I’m his savior.”
So there’s Patty with a thin approximation of the guy she married, a fate similar to losing my wife.
So I’m supposed to help her, and will, of course.
Fate has dealt us similar hands. I’ve lost the best friend I ever had, and Patty is losing the best friend she ever had.
We’ll talk about it. She’ll have a shoulder to lean on.
Please don’t pass judgment on me, Patty. I’m not a believer.
I don’t think she will.
My best friend wasn’t a believer either.
Although I don’t think she knew who she was, so was modeling herself after me.
Her mother made her a nobody.

• “Houghton College,” in western New York, is where I went to college, and from where I graduated with a BA in 1966. I’ve never regretted it, although I graduated a Ne’er-do-Well, without their blessing. Houghton is an evangelical liberal-arts college.
• My beloved wife of over 44 years died of cancer April 17th, 2012. I miss her immensely. Best friend I ever had, and after my childhood I sure needed one. —She was also Houghton Class of ’66.
• I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I pretty much recovered. Just tiny detriments; I can pass for never having had a stroke. It slightly compromised my speech. (Difficulty finding and putting words together.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Best friend I ever had

She’s probably about 24 in this picture. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

“I sure do miss my old battle-ax,” I said through tears to Cheryl Anne Brewer, my aquatic-therapy coach at the Canandaigua YMCA.
“She died over four years ago, and I’m still somewhat devastated.”
For the past few weeks I’ve been doing one-on-one aquatic therapy with Cheryl Anne in the pool at the YMCA.
Almost a year ago I had total replacement of my left knee. It was bone-on-bone, and I was hobbling.
Ever since then my balance deteriorated, so Cheryl Anne suggested aquatic rehab to the guy who daycares my dog.
Call my wife “the old battle-ax” in normal conversation, and the skirts usually say “don’t call your wife that.”
Say it through tears and it’s different.
Maybe five years ago I noticed the effect tears had on women.
My wife had been hospitalized because of a bad cancer flareup.
I went to visit, and was crying as a nurse came in.
“Sorry,” I said. “I can’t help it.”
“That’s okay,” the nurse cooed; “I understand.”
As if she were saying “Boy I wish my husband cared about me as much as this guy cares about his wife.”
I tried to hold back for Cheryl Anne, but kept choking up.
“I had a stroke — you know that — so phonecalls and conversation are difficult. My wife used to do ‘em for me, so now on my own I’m nervous.”
“You do just fine,” Cheryl Anne said.
She’s supposed to be my aquatic-therapy coach, but got asked to be a counselor.

• That picture chokes me up.
• My beloved wife of over 44 years died of cancer April 17th, 2012. I miss her immensely. Best friend I ever had, and after my childhood I sure needed one.
• I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I pretty much recovered. Just tiny detriments; I can pass for never having had a stroke. It slightly compromised my speech. (Difficulty finding and putting words together.)

Friday, September 16, 2016

No social graces

”I can afford it!” I said to my poor doctor, interrupting her as she tried to discuss my possibly needing a tetanus-shot.
“It might cost $100.”
I might need it following an open wound from falling.
I couldn’t remember when I had it last.
“Oh, excuse me,” I said. “I might sound kurt or snippy, but have no social graces whatsoever.”
But above all I think it’s having driven city-bus. We had to be assertive to survive.
It was mainly our clientele, but management could be that way too.
“Siddown and shaddup!” I once told teenagers telling me how to drive. “As long as I’m drivin’, I’m captain of the ship.”
I’ve done two face-plants over the past couple days. After removing a scab, I noticed an open wound.
It was too late to suture; “just keep it clean and let it heal.”
I was prescribed an antibiotic, and also got that tetanus-shot.
Verbal blasts like “siddown and shaddup” generally didn’t work driving bus.
I’m not Attila the Hun.
I often used guile and cunning.
Pulling over and stopping the bus usually got the miscreants’ attention.
“Hey man, we wanna go home.”
Assertiveness was needed; you had to be quick.
“What brought that on?” I’d ask.
Or “I need a favor.
Passengers have blown you guys in, and now my boss wants to send the police to bust heads.
‘No,’ I said; ‘lemme talk to ‘em first.’”
Always worked, and all made up.
Nevertheless still assertive, though I no longer need be.
I’ve learned to “siddown and shaddup” myself; keep quiet to avoid inserting foot in mouth.
Yet sometimes it blurts out — enough with the yadda-yadda-yadda.

• Blogs about my two recent face-plants are here and here.
• For 16&1/2 years (1977-1993) I drove transit bus for Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester, NY, a public employer, the transit-bus operator in Rochester and environs. My stroke October 26th, 1993 ended that. I retired on medical-disability. I recovered fairly well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Yet again

“Looks like ya been in a bar-fight,” said my friend Bill Robinson, who daycares my dog.
“Down at the Lock, Stock & Barrel, inflaming the biker-dudes. Probably told ‘em ya were a Liberal” (gasp).
“As I recall, there actually was a Lock, Stock & Barrel on Route 64 near Bristol Ski Center,” I said. “I occasionally had it in my ‘Night Spots’ for Kathie Meredith’s ‘Steppin’ Out’ at the Messenger.”
Robinson and I worked together long ago at the  Messenger newspaper.
“Lock, Stock & Barrel was right down the road from where I lived,” Robinson said. “I used to hang out there a lot before I became a Christian.”
Even though Jesus turned water into wine (spody-ody), Christians abstain from alcohol.
My father was strident about it — Devil’s brew.
At least Christians did when I was growing up; I don’t know about now.
Robinson is decent. Unlike many Christians he’s not judgmental.
Another face-plant for The Keed, second time in three days. Although not directly, but I ended on my face — earlier wounds reopened, blood all over.
I’ve let the blood dry under my nose, in my mustache. I thought cleaning that might start more bleeding.
Needless to say, many ask what happened.
“Face-plant,” I say; not “bar-fight.

• The head is a link to the earlier incident.
• The “Messenger” is the Canandaigua Daily-Messenger newspaper, from where I retired almost 11 years ago. Best job I ever had — I worked there almost 10 years (over 11 if you count my time as a post-stroke unpaid intern [I had a stroke October 26th, 1993, from which I recovered fairly well]). (“Canandaigua” [“cannan-DAY-gwuh”] is a small city nearby where I live in Western NY. The city is also within a rural town called “Canandaigua.” The name is Indian, and means “Chosen Spot.” —It’s about 14 miles away.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Master Tech Car Show

(That head is a link, readers.)


Inundated with souped-up custom cars, but here we have a bone-stock ’62 Olds, stock 394 cubic-inch engine, never been opened. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

“I write a blog,” I told the owner of a cherry stock ’62 Oldsmobile.
“I’ll blog this show with pictures, and I just took a picture overlooking the show, and your car is front-and-center.”
I attended the Master Tech Car Show yesterday east of Canandaigua.
My friend Jim LePore (“luh-POOR”) was showing his SS Camaro.
I was impressed.
Hundreds of souped-up hyper-cars were on display, some even altered in appearance = customized.
Mainly they were hotrods, hyped for maximum performance.
Every once in a while one would rev up through the gears.
A fabulous sound for this old car-guy.
A ’70 Camaro rumbled in. It had a hood-bulge at least a foot high. Even at idle it was assaulting the ground with tinny exhaust blasts.
But no one was burning out — I guess they have a rule.
Master Tech claims they do car repair. But inside their service-bays were a G-T-O, a 396 Chevelle, two turbocharged Buick Grand Nationals, plus a 454 Monte Carlo.
I have a hunch many of the cars on display at some time were in a Master Tech service bay.
Not all the cars on display were hotrods.
Some were bedraggled, in need of restoration.
Still majestic. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
One standout was a ’56 Caddy four-door sedan.
Faded paint, but still impressive.
Its motor was covered with grease and grime, but I guess it still ran.
That is, it drove to the show and parked.
So there it sat amidst all the glittering hotrods.
It attracted more attention than most.
Its owner was holding court.
“it was originally coral and white, but at some time was repainted blue.”
He had the left taillight up, exposing the gas-filler.
Memories.
I had my dog with me, so few photographs.
It ain’t easy taking pictures yanked by a pulling dog.
Plus I hafta make sure she doesn’t scarf someone’s hamburger.
She loves going to car shows. “Oh what a beautiful dog,” and “Can I pet your dog?”
“Over here you monster. This guy wants to say hello.”
Fabulous cars as far as the eye could see.
They had us voting for “Best-in-Show.”
For me that was #115, a black ’50 Ford two-door sedan. It had an actual FlatHead motor, probably the only Flatty there. Everything had souped-up Chevy SmallBlocks and Big-Blocks. There were hundreds.
The car was slightly customized — it had Buick side-trim.
I attempted to talk to the car’s owner, a heavily tattooed sullen dude.
“Main thing is it’s a Flatty,” I said; “and it has aluminum Navarro high-compression heads.”
“It’s a nice car,” he solemnly intoned.
“So I should vote for 115?” I asked
“Don’t ask me!” he growled.
Herewith:


Best-in-Show. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

Many of the cars I recognized from previous shows. The red-and-creme ’49 Pontiac utility wagon, for example.
But not that ’62 Olds.
Unrestored, and bone stock.
1962 was the year I graduated high-school.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Face-plant

“What happened to you?” asked my friend Jim LePore (“luh-POOR”) as I walked behind my dog into the Master-Tech Car Show east of Canandaigua.
Jim was showing his Camaro.
“Face-plant,” I said. “I fell in a parking-lot last night.”
“You gotta not let that dog pull you around,” Jim said.
“Not the dog,” I said. “I scuffed my foot and tripped.”
People often think my dog pulls me down. I have plenty of practice walking her, so she hardly ever fells me.
And at age-11 she’s no longer lunging after critters.
I was walking my dog to Michael Prouty Park, perhaps a quarter-mile from my house.
As I walked in I noticed Franklin was already there, off-leash, doing his daily business.
“I was gonna go the other way,” I said to Franklin’s owner, but here comes Franklin, so I figgered I better keep coming, lest he follow me.”
I had just got up from the pavement, and blood was dripping from my nose.
Face-down right to the pavement; at least I still had my teeth.
“Blood is dripping off yer nose,” Franklin’s owner said.
He gave me a tissue and sanitizer.
He took my dog so I could look in a mirror.
“Not too bad,” I said. The bleeding was stopping.
So much for our daily jaunt up to the park pavilion, where the dog scarfs potato-chips, whatever.
“I think I’ll go back to my house,” I said.
Franklin had been banished to the back seat of the guy’s pickup, a crew-cab.
Still bleeding slightly I walked my dog back toward our house, Franklin’s owner watching.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Monthly Calendar-Report for September 2016


Planning, dudes. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

—The above photograph has more forethought than I’ve done before.
That is, I visualized the picture before taking it.
Usually it’s just “shaddup-and-shoot;” artistic judgment is after.
The September 2016 entry of my own calendar is a westbound Norfolk Southern stacker on Track Two under the Interstate-99 overpass at Tyrone (“tie-ROWN;” as in “own”).
The curve in Tyrone is fabulous. It’s where the old Pennsy from Harrisburg turned south toward Altoona.
Use the bridge as a frame, using strong telephoto. No sky; no mountains.
The old station at Tyrone, now a community historical center, had a walkway where I could set up my tripod.
There was a fence, but it was vertical rods about seven inches apart. I could shoot through the rods.
I was alone, so I set up and waited, listening to my railroad-radio scanner.
About an hour passed: NOTHING! I considered leaving, but then the Altoona-East dispatcher said he had three westbounds comin’.
I ain’t leavin’.
I got at least two, and this is one of them.
I don’t believe it. My picture is exactly as visualized.
Often they aren’t.




Beauty that failed. (Photo by Bert Pennypacker©.)

—Probably the best photograph Pennypacker ever did.
The September 2016 entry of my Audio-Visual Designs black-and-white All-Pennsy Calendar is Pennsy’s attempt to replace the hoary old K4 Pacific (4-6-2), developed in the teens.
This is K-4 #3750, stored unserviceable outside at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, one of only two remaining K4 Pacifics. The other is #1361, apart in Altoona. (Photo by BobbaLew.)

It’s a T1 duplex (4-4-4-4), essentially Pennsy’s 4-8-4 with multiple drive-pistons.
Pennypacker was like my mother, a motor-drive. He shot anything and everything = a blizzard of photographs.
Most of his photos are uninspiring; shots for-the-record.
Yet here comes the westbound Duquesne with T1 power on the point. We’re at Pennsy’s famous S-curve at Duncannon north of Harrisburg.
Pennypacker sets up trackside, and snags his best photograph, one that made the T1 look great.
In my humble opinion, this photograph should be the calendar-cover, not that Decapod (2-10-0) shifting hoppers at Sodus Point.
The calendar cover, and April. (Photo by Jim Shaughnessy©.)
During the late ‘20s and ‘30s most railroads developed 4-8-4 steam-locomotives, but Pennsy didn’t because it was pouring immense investment into electrification of its east-coast lines.
Those two driver-sets are on a common frame, not articulated.
When WWII broke out Pennsy had tired old steam-locomotives, barely able to keep up with the explosion of traffic.
Norfolk & Western’s “A” (2-6-6-4).
A Chesapeake & Ohio T-1 (2-10-4). (Photo by Bert Pennypacker.)
The square-sided Belpaire firebox on a Pennsy Santa Fe (2-10-2).
Pennsy’s J-1 (2-10-4) in Altoona, ready to push uphill. (Photo by Don Wood.)
A Q-2 (4-4-6-4). (Pennsylvania Railroad.)
The war-effort didn’t allow Pennsy to develop new locomotives. They had to shop around. Pennsy tried Norfolk & Western’s “A” (2-6-6-4), and Chesapeake & Ohio’s T-1 SuperPower 2-10-4.
Both lacked Pennsy’s signature square-sided Belpaire firebox (“bell-pare”).
Afraid of articulation (the A was articulated), Pennsy went with the 2-10-4, which became their J1.
The J1 was more a high-speed locomotive, not well-suited to a mountain railroad. But Pennsy was more than a mountain railroad.
And a newish J was better than a wheezing old Decapod (2-10-0) in need of repair.
The J1 didn’t solve the passenger problem.
The J is a freight-locomotive, 70-inch drivers.
Pennsy never went beyond 4-6-2. Electrification.
Doubleheaded K4s could keep up with more modern power, e.g. New York Central’s Hudsons (4-6-4), its Mohawks (4-8-2), and later Niagaras (4-8-4).
Double- or triple-headed steamers require multiple crews; steam-engines can’t MU.
But Pennsy could afford multiple crews.
After the war Pennsy went whole-hog. Duplex freight locomotives were developed (the 10-drivered Qs).
Apparently the T1 was developed just before the war - the first builds were in 1942.
Industrial designer Raymond Loewy (“LOW-eee”) was brought in to style the T1. He had previously done much work for Pennsy including improving the styling of the GG-1 electric.
“Duplex” is Baldwin Locomotive Works, who made reducing side-rod weight a selling-point. For an eight- or ten-drivered locomotive side-rod weight can be substantial.
Heavy side-rod weight pounds the rail. It can be counterbalanced, but counterbalancing pounds the rail too.
Multiple cylinders reduce side-rod weight by reducing side-rods and the length of the connecting rod.
But disconnecting driver-sets allows the front driver-set to become slippery, since it’s carrying less weight.
T1s were capable of 100 mph, yet the front driver-set night break free and start spinning wildly, even at that speed.
The only offset was to back off the throttle.
Driving a T1 was always a balancing act. Too much throttle might send the front driver-set slipping.
An original Loewy T1 at Baldwin Locomotive Works.
The T-1 evolved over building. Skirting is gone, chamfers are less, but it still has portholes. Soon they will be gone too, and the number-plate will move up under the headlight. (Pennsylvania Railroad.)
Only two locomotives had the actual Loewy styling. The railroad made Loewy’s styling manageable. Side skirting was removed, etc, etc.
But the T1 continued to use Franklin Poppet valves.
Most steamers used piston valves. A piston rocked back-and-forth exposing ports.
Poppet valves, like a car engine, were more precise.
But operation was difficult.
Valve timing had to be variable, easy with piston valves, but difficult with poppets.
Ya might need full valve travel for start-up, but ya can’t keep it at that once rolling. It would consume all the steam.
The later T1s weren’t the gorgeous Loewy prototypes. This is the later look, but looks pretty good.
That’s the photograph. I’ve seen others that look terrible.
Too bad Loewy’s styling wasn’t applied to something other than duplex — they’re too slippery.
Now that caption: “Beauty that failed.”
As a duplex the T1 was more challenging than a regular steamer. Imagine driver-slip at 100 mph!
Those poppets were also hard to maintain. Baldwin wanted to build T1s with Walschaerts-activated piston valving, but Pennsy refused.
I’m more inclined to think locomotive maintenance was more tied to Walschaerts than poppets. Walschaerts had been around for years, and was easy to maintain. This is like auto mechanics in the late ‘50s and ‘60s refusing to work on Corvette fuel-injection.
T1s were also smoky, for some reason.
The gorgeous T1s were an overstep; plus dieselization was imminent.
None were saved. Steam passenger locomotion on Pennsy ended with the K4.




I’m always a sucker for yellow hotrods. (Photo by Scott Williamson.)

—The September 2016 entry in my Oxman Hotrod Calendar is a ’27 Track-T roadster turned into a hotrod.
My October 2016 Classic Car magazine has a feature on track-T racecars.
1915 brass-T speedster. (Photo by Richard Lentinello.)
Backyard racers were modifying Model-T Fords into racecars, even the humble four-cylinder Model-T engine.
The company Frontenac made a lotta money at it: overhead-valve and even double overhead cam conversions.
How does one get the old Model-T four-banger to hold together if it can really rev?
A Model-T’s crankshaft wasn’t made for racing.
And normally the Model-T engine was a flat-head, a water-cooled Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine.
Frontenac was gonna go into car manufacturing, but was a victim of 1929 and the following Depression.
Yet people converted Model-Ts into racecars with Frontenac cylinder-head conversions.
The calendar car pictured has a Chevy SmallBlock.
But it does have a hand-formed aluminum “Sprint-Car” nose. The hood and engine side-panels are also hand-formed aluminum.
I can think of pictures of other yellow hotrods.
The Milner coupe.
’32 three-window with NASCAR “Cammer” engine. (Photo by Scott Williamson.)
(This thing has an Indy four-banger.) (Photo by Scott Williamson.)
One is of the Milner coupe from American Graffiti. Another is a picture I ran long ago of a ’32 three-window with the gigantic NASCAR “Cammer” engine.
427 cubic inches, single overhead cam with cast-iron heads = overkill in a street hotrod.
How can you expect such a thing to corner with that much weight on the front? Ya couldn’t even go to the grocery!
The color of both cars is right. The calendar-car is also right, but has a two-piece windshield, probably Duvall. I prefer the stock Ford one-piece, chopped if necessary.
I doubt the car is drivable, it rides too low. You’d scrape just getting in your driveway.
But it looks great; I can almost accept that two-piece windshield.




ENOLA (“ay-NOLE-uh;” as in “hey”). (Photo by Tom Klinger.)

—The September 2016 entry in my All-Pennsy color calendar is the clogged locomotive ready-tracks at gigantic Enola Yard across from Harrisburg.
Enola Yard was built in 1905 to take pressure off Harrisburg. The original Pennsy was from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, but became so successful Harrisburg became a bottleneck.
Not much land was available in Harrisburg to allow expansion, so Pennsy went across the river.
The original Pennsy crossed the Susquehanna at Rockville/Marysville north of Harrisburg.
Enola was built, and according to Google satellite-views a bypass was also built off the Pennsy main from Philadelphia at Parkesburg (“Parks-burg;” not “parkers-burg”) east of Lancaster, to miss the grade and sharp curves at Gap, PA., and get freight to that new yard.
That bypass accessed the Susquehanna well south of Enola Yard into a Pennsy branch parallel to the river.
The Enola access then used another bridge to cross the Susquehanna upriver near Locust Grove.
That line was electrified, but is now abandoned.
Enola became a destination for most Pennsy freight.
It also was the end of Pennsy’s electrification of the east-coast megalopolis.
Freight had to be transferred from electric to non-electric power, or vice versa.
Looking at this picture I see an E44, #4408, coupled to a filthy ancient P5 (4-6-4) boxcab.
Geeps are behind, plus even a Baldwin diesel (I think that’s what it is, although it may be Fairbanks-Morse).
Plus an Alco covered-wagon. (“Covered-wagon” is what railroaders call cab-units.)
The picture is 1961 = four years past steam on Pennsy.
Electrics hauled westbound freight into Enola from the east, for switching to non-electric to continue west.
Eastbound freight from the nation’s interior got switched to electric in Enola.
Harrisburg itself was also the end of Pennsy’s electrification, but freight usually went to Enola.
Freight using Enola could bypass grades toward Philadelphia, the original railroad out of Philadelphia that ended up being Pennsy.
In 1957 my parents moved from south Jersey to northern DE. And in late 1962 I began college in western NY.
I moved to Rochester (NY) after graduating in 1966.
In order to visit my parents in northern DE I used the route I used to get to college.
It goes through Harrisburg.
That route changed. Expressways were built that now have me going around Harrisburg.
In fact, I no longer use that route. I often use the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
It misses Harrisburg entirely.
Both parents are long-gone. They eventually moved to FL, but I still have a brother in northern DE.
Using my Harrisburg route I’d cross the Susquehanna north of Harrisburg.
But often I’d continue down the west side of the river trying to find a better route that crossed south of Harrisburg.
I never found one; Route 15 turned into a two-lane with traffic-lights.
But it was next to Pennsy, and there would be Enola, its locomotive ready-tracks, just like this picture, clogged with diesels and electrics.
I’m glad Klinger took this picture. It’s not dramatic, but what I saw.




The jet-age begins. (Photo by Philip Makanna©.)

—The September 2016 entry of my Ghosts WWII warbirds calendar is a Messerschmitt Me262, the first successful jet fighter.
I’ll let the Internet weigh in:
“Mustang pilot Bud Anderson had the new German jet fighter in his sights. But as he closed in, the jet ‘just shrank up and vanished.’
The Messerschmitt Me262, the world’s first jet fighter, streaked away from him at more than 540 mph, 100 mph faster than the P-51.”
The P-51 was a fabulous fighter-plane, fast and maneuverable.
That is, fast for a propeller-airplane.
The P-51 lacked what fighter-pilots desire most: the speed the Me262 had.
All an Me262 pilot had to do was put the hammer down, and off it went: skedaddle.
More Internet:
“From the 1930s, engine designers in several countries were trying to develop a radically new alternative to the reciprocating (piston) engine.
The Germans focused on turbojet research, and stole a march on the others. By 1938, BMW and Junkers had promising engine programs, while Ernst Heinkel and Willi Messerschmitt designed airplanes to carry the jet engines.
Heinkel’s He 2800 flew first and seemed to have more potential, but Messerschmitt (the regime’s favored designer) succeeded in getting his Me262 approved for production. The He 2800 was shelved.
While very fast, the Me262 was not without drawbacks and problems. The novel Jumo 004 engines were short-lived and unreliable, prone to flaming out and catching fire.
Of course, the Me262 was a twin-engined aircraft, and it could fly well with just one working engine. Landing was a different matter; asymmetric thrust made landings very tricky.
The jet could not accelerate quickly, requiring extra-long airstrips for take-off. Nor could it decelerate quickly, and ‘go-arounds’ on landings were impractical. It could not turn well, and lost a lot of speed in hard turns, critical drawbacks in aerial combat. Handling was challenging, and only for experienced, skillful pilots. While the Me262 could fly like Hell and was heavily armed, that was all it had.
The Me262 required concrete runways, instead of the Luftwaffe’s usual tarmac, and left tell-tale scorch-marks on take-off. Shortly, Allied reconnaissance figured out that these fields housed the new jets, and also quickly learning the 262’s vulnerabilities during take-off, Allied fighters began patrolling the areas.
While the Reich turned out an impressive number of Me262s (1,433), pilot training, poor maneuverability, vulnerable bases, overwhelming Allied air superiority, even Nazi politics, all conspired to prevent the world’s first jet fighter from making a real difference in the war.”
An Me262 might lack the maneuverability of a P-51, but it had skedaddle.
Fighter-pilots love speed.
And speed works both ways. A jet could swoop in and attack much faster.
American aviation quickly converted to jets: Lockheed its F-80 Shooting-Star, and North American its F-86 SabreJet.
Republic Aviation, manufacturer of the P-47 Thunderbolt, developed the F-84 ThunderJet.
Naval aviation did this too. Chance-Vought, manufacturer of the fabulous Corsair aircraft-carrier fighter-plane, brought out its jet-powered F7U Cutlass.
Fighter aviation was advancing by leaps and bounds. The Me262 was the beginning. It showed the potential of jets over propeller airplanes.




Déjà vu. (Photo by Sam Wheland.)

—I feel like I’ve seen this photograph before — same location, same photographer.
The September 2016 entry in Norfolk Southern Employees’ Photography-Contest calendar is a Norfolk Southern freight carrying 10 locomotives for Mozambique.
It’s a train of welded rail. (Photo by Sam Wheland.)
Interesting to me is the export locomotives appear identical to the locomotive pulling the train.
Although probably not exactly.
8409 is a General Electric Dash 8-40CW, 4,000 horsepower, built in 1993.
The number-boards are located differently, but everything is General Electric.
More-than-likely the export locos are a more recent iteration.
The major difference is track gauge, which is why the export units are on flatcars. The gauge in Mozambique is three feet six inches.
I wonder about the location of this picture. The train is eastbound, which means it’s into morning light.
It was a cloudy day, which is why photographer Wheland is up on a bridge — to avoid gloomy skies.
But the sun peeked through as the train approached. Often it’s the other way; I know all about it.
Only one unit, and behind are auto-racks. If I am correct, it may be 10J, the eastbound equivalent of westbound 11J, which my brother and I have photographed.
11J past Cresson, PA. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
There is an idler, that gondola in front of that first export locomotive.
The train is in Huntingdon, PA, on Pennsy’s old Middle Division. I always wonder if photographer Wheland is on the same bridge as Don Wood was photographing M-1 steamers (4-8-2) in the ‘50s.




Probably an Austin-Healey 3000.

—I usually run my Jerry Powell classic-car calendar separate, because it’s not one I ordered.
Jerry Powell is my niece’s boyfriend. He’s a car-guy like me. He got it for me as a Christmas present.
Not this time. An Austin-Healey is not that desirable; at least not to me.
But my Tide-mark Classic Car calendar is one of those gigantic Chrysler land-barges from 1970.
The Healey is very much a sportscar, an open roadster.
Austin-Healey 100-4.
The Healey first came as four-cylinders — to my mind more attractive.
Later Healeys moved up to an inline six. This calendar-car is a six, probably a 3000.
The Healey was a response to postwar America’s lust for sportscars.
First were the antediluvian MG “Midget” series, especially the TC and TD.
Triumph made a sportscar — I had one, a 1958 fishmouth TR-3.
My TR-3. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
MG moved on to market a more modern sportscar, the MGA. I considered buying one, but bought the Triumph instead.
The pinnacle was Jaguar, its XK120 and later XK-E.
I consider the XK-E the most beautiful car of all time.
A surfeit of British sportscars, and in the middle was Healey.
And it was available with a six.
A guy at my college had one. I remember him driving it one night on the college sidewalk.
That sidewalk was wide enough to be a road.
He lusted after my Triumph, a gutsy old drag-racer.
But his Healey was more civilized.
I remember running a parade around the campus. We called it the Houghton Grand Prix — Houghton (“HO-tin;” as in “hoe,” not “how” or “who”) was the name of my college.
I declared myself the winner because my car made the most noise.
Well of course, I was competing against Detroit-Iron, a ’56 Dodge two-door hardtop, a well-muffled Mustang, and others.
That was the time that guy drove his Healey down the sidewalk.
I had to leave my car running on the college Quad, because its starter was burnt out. We had to push-start it.




Why? (Photo by Dan Lyons©.)

—The September 2016 entry in my Tide-mark Classic-Car calendar is a 1970 Chrysler 300 convertible.
Why would anyone would make a collector-car out of such a dinosaur?
Perhaps it was because ‘70s cars were the last of a grand American tradition: insanely big cars with humongous V8 motors.
Our E-250 in South Dakota. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
I had one myself: a 1979 Ford three-quarter ton van.
I thought the world of it, despite its swilling gas at 10 mpg.
It had the giant 460 cubic-inch V8, probably the ambulance motor. Four-barrel Holley carb, but not the gigantic toilet-mouth venturies. Smaller but four.
The carb wasn’t designed for high-rev breathing. It was more for generating maximum low-speed torque.
Olde Henry woulda been proud.
The front swing-arms were beautiful forgings.
I completely rebuilt the cooling-system prior to vacation across the country in 1987.
That’s because it overheated during an earlier summer trip to VA.
I recored the giant radiator from three rows to four. That radiator was big enough to heat an airport hanger.
I replaced all the hoses, all but one unseen that burst a few years later.
I also made new steel tubing for the tranny-cooler.
110 degrees up to Mt. Rushmore, air-conditioning on full-blast, and it didn’t overheat.
When I rolled down the window at toll-booths, the toll-takers thanked me.
That van was the ultimate turnpike cruiser. All the way to Montana on Interstate-90, cruise-control set at 70.
$678 total gas for that trip, but no motels. Camped out in it every night. 100 degrees next to the Missouri River, down to 38 degrees next to the Tetons.
Pulled into a lonely gas station in Wyoming, and “Toss another steak on the grill, Martha. 40 gallons!”
No doubt this gigantic Chrysler would be as much fun.
This is America, not England. Wide open spaces = put the hammer down!
Traveling in a tiny Ford Focus would be a drag.
I know; I did it in a tiny Volkswagen Dasher stationwagon in 1980 — all the way to the Pacific.
When Chrysler’s 300-series debuted in the late ‘50s, ne’er-do-wells soon were racing the full length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
100 mph average or more!
Most desirable were the 1958 300s, 392 cubic-inch Hemi power. The engine drag-guys loved because it breathed so well.
By 1959 the Hemi was gone, so 300s switched to a 413 cubic-inch B-block with long intake runners to boost intake with sonic wave induced supercharging.
Two four-barrel carbs, each way out at the sides of the motor — to accommodate those long intake runners.
By 1970 Chrysler’s 300-series was winding down. Gas was no longer cheap. The last 300s were 1971; by now the engine was a 440 cubic-inch B-block.
1970 was the last full-size Chrysler convertible.
The name “300” was resurrected 28 years later. As was “Hemi.” I don’t know if it’s actual hemispherical combustion-chambers.
“Fuselage” styling it was called; introduced in 1969.
I rented a full-size 1970 Plymouth Fury while my TR-250 was in the shop.
“That hood is big enough to land a Navy Corsair fighter-plane!”

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