Tag Archives: national train day

Music on Mondays (4-14-14) – Taking it easy

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since I will be a vendor at the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser the weekend of May 3, I pretty much decided that I won’t be going to Los Angeles for National Train Day (May 10) this year. I’ll miss it because ATSF 3751, a steam engine built in 1927, is always there since it is housed just a mile south of Union Station.

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fortunately, ATSF 3751 always shows up a month earlier at San Bernardino Railroad Days. That’s where I went yesterday, taking the
San Diego Trolley from La Mesa to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego,
then Amtrak from San Diego to the historic Union Station in Los Angeles,
then Metrolink from Los Angeles to the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino.

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego, California

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Union Station in Los Angeles

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Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino, California

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I left the driving to them, which allowed me to take it easy. Ah that peaceful, easy feeling as the train left here yesterday morning. Sadly, none of the trains went by the Hotel California.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California

But do they have any famous graduates?

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim and I were in Los Angeles this past May 11 for National Train Day, we took Los Angeles Metro Rail from the historic Union Station to Hollywood. We exited at the Hollywood/Vine Station and walked along Hollywood Boulevard to the Hollywood/Highland Station, a tiresome many blocks.

Lassie's star on the Hollywood Walk of FameDuring our walk, we discovered stars (the Hollywood Walk of Fame), the historic Pantages Theatre and TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Mann’s Chinese Theatre), and much more. When we were finished, we tried to find the Hollywood/Highland Station rather than walking back along the extremely crowded Hollywood Boulevard to the Hollywood/Vine station.

It took us a little while to find the Hollywood/Highland Station. We had kept going around it because there was a huge crowd in front of it. Since it’s a subway station, the crowds massed around the entrance to the underground caused us to miss it when we kept going around the crowds.

We got lost several times, but getting lost is not always bad. In this case, we discovered the historic Hollywood High School. It’s not accessible because, well, it’s a high school, so it has a very high fence around it keeping people like me out. The only picture I could get was of an exterior wall of the auditorium which had been painted with a huge mural. This was on the left side:

Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On the right side of the wall was information about the mural:

Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Do you recognize the two people in my photograph? Jim and I think the woman is Judy Garland of “Wizard of Oz” fame. We don’t know who the guy is.

There are probably children of rich and famous movie and television stars who still go to Hollywood High School, again explain the high fence. That got me to thinking just who the famous Hollywood High School graduates are. Here’s a partial list:

  • Carole Lombard, Class of 1923 – Hollywood’s highest-paid actress in the late 1930s and wife of Clark Gable.
  • John Huston, Class of 1923 – Best known (to me) as the director of such classic movies as  The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The African Queen, Moulin Rouge, The Misfits, and The Man Who Would Be King. Great movies all!
  • Lon Chaney, Jr., Class of 1924 – Actor with a long résumé of movies from 1922 to 1971. He played The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s monster, and, of course, Count Alucard. If you’re not familiar with Count Alucard, just reverse the letters of “alucard.”
  • Alan Ladd, Class of 1931 – Actor who starred in Shane, one of the greatest westerns of all time.
  • Alan Hale, Jr., Class of 1936 – The Skipper from “Gilligan’s Island.”
  • Judy Garland, Class of 1940 – She’s not in Kansas anymore.
  • James Garner, Class of 1944 – “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.”
  • Carol Burnett, Class of 1951 – Do I really need to tell you about Carol? One of the greatest comedic actresses ever!
  • Vincent Bugliosi, Class of 1952 – Attorney who prosecuted the Manson Family for the Tate-La Bianca murders in August 1969 and defended Stephanie Stearns in the “Sea Wind” murders in 1974. He is also an accomplished author, having written many books about famous trials and incidents, including, among others, Helter Skelter, using the song from The Beatles’ “White Album” as the title for the book; The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President, about the Bush/Gore contest in 2000; and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, which I have not read yet.
  • Ricky Nelson, Class of 1958 – One of my favorite singers from early rock ‘n’ roll. I had tickets to his concert in Dallas on December 31, 1985. The show was canceled because Ricky was killed that afternoon in a plane crash.
  • Stephanie Powers, Class of 1960 – Tied with Shelley Winters as my favorite actress from the ’60s and ’70s. I loved her in “Hart to Hart” with Robert Wagner.
  • Meredith Baxter, Class of 1965 – Mom on “Family Ties”
  • John Ritter, Class of 1966 – Became a television favorite in “Three’s Company.”
  • Laurence Fishburne, Class of 1980 – Actor whom you might know best as Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy. I also recently found out that his wife is Gina Torres, also known as Jessica Pearson from “Suits,” one of my favorite current TV shows — new episodes begin July 16!
  • Sarah Jessica Parker, Class of 1983 – Actress from “Sex and the City,” which I have never watched. I know her more as the wife of Matthew Broderick who starred in WarGames, Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off, and Biloxi Blues.

Those are just a few. There are many more. See the Wikipedia entry for Hollywood High School if you’re interested.

With all those famous people graduating from just one high school, I started wondering about all the famous people who graduated from my high school: Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas. Number of famous graduates: 1 — me!

King High School in Kingsville, Texas

Go Brahmas!

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Union Station in Los Angeles

Leave the parking to them!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not that it would ever happen to me, but if you live in San Diego and get bored after a few years, we’re fortunate to have Los Angeles just ninety miles up the road. Put San Diego, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs together — all within 100 miles of each other — and you couldn’t possibly be bored in Southern California!

I didn’t have a great appreciation for Los Angeles until recently, mainly because if I’m driving, I want to be driving! Not stuck on a freeway doing 10 mph, something that’s quite common on freeways like Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 going through the heart of Los Angeles. Both freeways need a serious case of widening or, as San Antonio did, building an upper deck.

Last month, though, on National Train Day (May 11), I took Amtrak to Los Angeles and then hopped on the Los Angeles Metro subway to go over to Hollywood. Until then I had not realized that Los Angeles, in 1994, had started building a subway system. And it’s a nice one! In some future posts, I’ll show you just how nice. I might go to Los Angeles more often now that I know I can use the Metro to go to 90% of the places in Los Angeles that interest me.

My first stop on National Train Day was, of course, the historic Union Station:

Los Angeles Union Station

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Union Station in Los Angeles

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Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Los Angeles Union Station

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Union Station opened on May 3, 1939, to serve passenger trains from Union Pacific Railroad; Southern Pacific Railroad; and Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad; and commuter trains of the Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it currently serves 60,000 passengers a day.

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Along with passenger trains from Amtrak and Metrolink, Union Station has a separate platform for the Los Angeles Metro subway, and another area for buses, taxis, and bicyclists.

A day pass on the Metro is only $5. That allows you to ride Metro trains all day long, get on and off as you like, and really have some fun. I can highly recommend it as a way to get around the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Sightseeing is so much more fun when you don’t have to try to find a parking place!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Union Pacific 844 steam engine in Southern California, November 2011

Happy National Train Day!

Railroads & Trains logo

National Train Day

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Angel's Flight Railway in Los AngelesHappy National Train Day!

I’m out riding the trains today — San Diego Trolley, Amtrak, and Los Angeles Metro.

I’ll be starting at San Diego Trolley’s 70th Street Station, then to San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot, then to the even more historic Union Station in Los Angeles, and finally Metro’s Red Line to Hollywood. To end the day, simply reverse the trip.

I also plan on finally getting to ride the Angel’s Flight Railway after all these years. Seems every time I’ve gone in the past it was either out of service or decommissioned. Unless it breaks in the next 12 hours, it’s up and running.

If you can’t get out to ride the trains today, then at least sit back and watch a few of my train videos.

San Diego Trolley arriving at Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner leaving Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner arriving at Old Town Station in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coaster arriving at Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Pacific Steam Engine #844 near Indio, California, November 2011

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Pacific Steam Engine #844 at 70 miles per hour
near Indio, California, November 2011

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Amtrak engine #90208 heading the Pacific Surfliner in San Diego

National Train Day is this Saturday!

Railroads & Trains logo

This coming Saturday, May 11, is National Train Day.

National Train Day

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In preparation for spending all day Saturday riding trains in San Diego County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County, I went out this morning and took lots of pictures and a few flash videos, all related to trains. Here is a 9-second flash video of the beautiful water fountain at the entrance to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On the street corner in front of the Depot, one can loiter and catch lots of train action, including interaction with cars and people. Those videos are not Flash Videos, though, so they need more processing time. Meanwhile, following are a few pictures from my railroading adventure this morning.

Amtrak at San Diego's historic Santa Fe Depot

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak engine #457 at Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak engine #94 on the Pacific Surfliner in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak engine #90208 heading the Pacific Surfliner in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Trolley at the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Coaster and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner at the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak Police

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The police vehicle was not occupied and I wandered all over the place hoping to see the fine, furry, four-legged K-9 unit, but no luck.

For those who want to watch a longer video, here’s a 2-minute video of San Diego Trolley action at the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

National Train Day festivities at Los Angeles Union Station

Both ladies seem to be doing quite well

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

There were lots of photo opportunities during National Train Day festivities at the historic Los Angeles Union State this past Saturday, from trains to cars to buildings to people. Here is one of my favorites showing Santa Fe 3781, built in 1927, as well as an old Cadillac, a Railway Express truck, and, just for good measure, a few elderly people.

National Train Day festivities at Los Angeles Union Station

 

I couldn’t verify it, but I heard that the Cadillac and the Railway Express truck are from 1927, the same year that Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia built Santa Fe 3751.

Not until just a while ago did I recognize the lady in front. Later that day I was talking with her. She’s 83 years old and lives in Riverside, California. She and her boyfriend, the guy in the orange cap that she’s following, drove over for the festivities. She’s almost as old as the Santa Fe 3751; both ladies seem to be doing quite well.

 

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego Trolley 70th Street Station at 5:00 a.m.

What it looks like at 5:15 a.m.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego

 

None of my friends are morning people…. need to find some new friends…. so I took a picture of the San Diego Trolley’s 70th Street Station at 5:15 a.m. (0515 for my military friends) for National Train Day.

San Diego Trolley 70th Street Station at 5:15 a.m.

 

I also got a picture of San Diego Trolley 0773 arriving at 5:42 a.m. to pick up we early morning risers. I was one of three on Saturday. Led by Car #4002:

San Diego Trolley at 0542 at 70th Street Station

 

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions