Alone but not lonely

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My dad was in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954, receiving an honorable discharge in December. After his discharge he worked for Missouri Pacific in Texas until his death by self-inflicted gunshot in 1961. Mom moved us to Brigham City UT after his death, which is where her side of the family was from.

Granddad also worked on Missouri Pacific, and the two of them often let me ride on the trains with them, either in the engine or the caboose (my choice!), between Kingsville TX and Bishop TX, a round trip distance of 10 miles. It was just a switch engine switching cars on tracks in rail yards in the two cities, and between them, so track speeds were not high.

The fascination with T&T (Tracks & Trains) had infected me, and northern Utah was a hot bed of activity for the Union Pacific Railroad. I was a fan.the-box-car-children

When I was in first grade in 1961 in Brigham City I read a book published in 1924 titled “The Box-Car Children.” I sooooooo wanted to be a Box-Car Child, and I did everything I could to make it happen, hanging out on the UP line between Brigham City and Ogden. I often walked the tracks down to Ogden and hopped a box car ride back, a round trip of 50 miles. Mom never knew because she was always too drunk. The life of a child with no love or discipline. The life of a box-car child.

The picture below, although taken in San Diego, very much reminded me of a time and a place 56 years ago, a time when one could walk the tracks, stand on the tracks, wait for the trains, no one else around, alone but not lonely…….

Tracks at sunset

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

11 thoughts on “Alone but not lonely


    A sad story to be sure. The only thing I would like to ask if you don’t mind is; do you know anything about how your parents were raised? Were they raised in a good stable, loving home with parents that cared for them. Usually children raise their children basically the way they were raised, until someone breaks the cycle. It also sounds like your dad may have suffered from PTSD, which of course back then was not known about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      The Mormon side of the family, my mom’s, was very dysfunctional. Maternal granddad divorced his wife of 30 years and married an 18-year-old student in his class. They had five children, so I have a couple of uncles and aunts who are many years younger than me.

      Dad didn’t suffer from PTSD. He suffered from a cheating wife. Even in today’s world, it’s not unknown for people to commit suicide over such things, in some cases even taking the spouse and children with them.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          But I’m estranged from everyone except a gay cousin, a gay nephew, a lesbian stepniece, and the lesbian stepniece’s mom (my stepsister). So I’m pretty alone……. but not lonely.



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