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Nostalgia & History > A little human interest...breaking the new guy in


Date: 08/14/19 03:22
A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: Roadjob

In 1975 I was at the height of my railfan powers so to say. Logging well over 50,000 images at that point, I had hit just about every hotspot east of the Mississippi, ridden trains, ran trains, worked a telegraph, hooped up orders, sat at dispatcher boards, thrown switches, and even got to pound spikes. Yes, 1975 was the high water mark for this fan. I was also interested in business, and I knew the eastern railroads were in a headwind of change, and though I didn't know how long it would be until my world changed, there was no doubt it would not be long. To that end in 1975, I attended the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society's meeting in the summer of 75. It was held in Cleveland, and, while I never liked events like this, and still don't, I felt compelled to go.

EL was my no. 1 road at that point and I had a feeling that this might be a finale as far as the EL being the EL. EL's president, Gregory Maxwell gave a moving speech talking about how the road had fought the good fight, and that his people were a dedicated workforce that truly loved their railroad. All he said was true, and sad at the same time.

It was also here I met a young railfan and his girlfriend. He had not been around much in the rail world to this point, but he loved the EL, so he won me over there. I liked him from the start, and we started hanging around in Ohio, and I introduced him to the EL/B&O hotspot at Sterling. We became good friends over the years, shared many adventures, and had a hell of a good time. But life intervened, and children and careers sent us in different directions.

We met several years later at our own personal reunion at the Station Inn in Cresson Pa., and got back together for a few trips after that.

He does TO threads under the handle EL833, but he is also known as Roger Durfee. Roger went on to live my dream by becoming a railroader. What he also still is, is an active railfan. He was able to adapt to the changes in the industry that left me behind. His photographic skills are fantastic, and he posts very cool stuff on his Facebook page. He also shows diversity; besides rails, he shoots birds, blimps and boats!

From what I've seen, he is also quite well known in the railfan community, so he quite often validates what I saw in that kid back in 1975. The two images I found show eastbound 2nd NY 100 east of Rittman Ohio in 1975. Second shot is that kid Durfee ruining mygoing away shot of that beautiful train,LOL!
 

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/19 11:56 by Roadjob.






Date: 08/14/19 03:44
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: richs

What a great post!  Thanks for the memories.
Rich S



Date: 08/14/19 06:14
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: CNW8531

I love that consist!  Four big "45's up front and all pigs.  Looks like EL's version of the Super C!



Date: 08/14/19 06:23
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: RRTom

As a teenager, I enjoyed the photos and stories by you and Roger in Rails Northeast magazine. Still have all my copies. After I discovered the magazine in the early eighties, it was a thrill when I could pick up used copies at hobby shops and train shows and go back in time a few years as the rail scene changed so much with Conrail.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/14/19 06:24
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: refarkas

I'm sure Roger is blushing because of this praise, but all you have said is true. Roger and you have so much in common when it comes to being a great railfan. In both cases your eye for the scenic photo is far above mine.
Bob



Date: 08/14/19 07:27
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: RayH

RRTom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a teenager, I enjoyed the photos and stories by
> you and Roger in Rails Northeast magazine. Still
> have all my copies. After I discovered the
> magazine in the early eighties, it was a thrill
> when I could pick up used copies at hobby shops
> and train shows and go back in time a few years as
> the rail scene changed so much with Conrail.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Same here. I still have all those old issues of Rails Northeast too!
Just never knew you were so heavy on the EL (as was I in NJ). Memory is suspect now, but I also remember an article in Railfan Magazine about exploits in California.



Date: 08/14/19 08:20
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: ts1457

CNW8531 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I love that consist!  Four big "45's up front and
> all pigs.  Looks like EL's version of the Super
> C!

I seem to recall that the big fuel tanks allowed the pig trains to run all of the way between NJ and Chicago without refueling.



Date: 08/14/19 10:07
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: Cole42

RayH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RRTom Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > As a teenager, I enjoyed the photos and stories
> by
> > you and Roger in Rails Northeast magazine.
> Still
> > have all my copies. After I discovered the
> > magazine in the early eighties, it was a thrill
> > when I could pick up used copies at hobby shops
> > and train shows and go back in time a few years
> as
> > the rail scene changed so much with Conrail.
> >
> > Posted from iPhone
>
> Same here. I still have all those old issues of
> Rails Northeast too!
> Just never knew you were so heavy on the EL (as
> was I in NJ). Memory is suspect now, but I also
> remember an article in Railfan Magazine about
> exploits in California.

Add me to that list - couldn't wait for the next issue of RNE to arrive.  And I remember that article about CA, got me interested in SP.



Date: 08/14/19 11:11
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: santafe199

Priceless story! (echoes of Rick & Louie at the end of Casablanca... :^)

Lance



Date: 08/14/19 11:24
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: bradleymckay

Great photo's and story Bill.

In the photo Roger resembles Tommy Shaw of Styx...


Allen

Posted from Android



Date: 08/14/19 14:03
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: warren1977

RayH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RRTom Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > As a teenager, I enjoyed the photos and stories
> by
> > you and Roger in Rails Northeast magazine.
> Still
> > have all my copies. After I discovered the
> > magazine in the early eighties, it was a thrill
> > when I could pick up used copies at hobby shops
> > and train shows and go back in time a few years
> as
> > the rail scene changed so much with Conrail.
> >
> > Posted from iPhone
>
> Same here. I still have all those old issues of
> Rails Northeast too!
> Just never knew you were so heavy on the EL (as
> was I in NJ). Memory is suspect now, but I also
> remember an article in Railfan Magazine about
> exploits in California.
Bill's debut in Railfan (7/1978) and Jim Boyd's "We'd like you to meet" in the same issue.
Unfortunately I cannot locate Mr. Durfee's debut in R&R in the early 1980s; "Follow that Jet!", a chase of Chessie System Trailer (TOFC) Jets across Ohio.
IIRC, Durfee was a UPS driver at that time.






Date: 08/14/19 18:45
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: EL833

Wow Bill, what memories is right. Thanks for the compliments on my photos, but I've never failed to give you a ton of credit for where I'm at today photo-wise. I learned by watching you and so much of how I look at scenes even today is influenced by your work. It's been a great ride, and Bill, we need- repeat need- to get together and reflect on all those good times. Two words can actually sum it all up, "thank you".

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 08/14/19 18:53
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: EL833

warren1977 Wrote:
------------------------------------------
> Unfortunately I cannot locate Mr. Durfee's debut
> in R&R in the early 1980s; "Follow that Jet!", a
> chase of Chessie System Trailer (TOFC) Jets across
> Ohio.
> IIRC, Durfee was a UPS driver at that time.

I think I had a bio in the R&R issue about the Akron Barberton Belt, "The A and a couple of B's". I really enjoyed those early days with Rails Northeast a lot. Pretty cool stuff for a young photographer to see his work in print. Did a few written pieces as well. You guys are going to make me go and dig them out now lol. I can also thank Bill as well for his encouragement in sending my first contributions in.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 08/14/19 21:34
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: tgcostello

Hey Bill,

Is that a Koni Omega or Rapid Omega 6x7 you are toting in that Sierras photo?  I used one for a number of years in the mid-70's photographing weddings in NJ.  Replaced it sometime later with a 500 C/M that I still have today.
Tim Costello



Date: 08/15/19 02:28
Re: A little human interest...breaking the new guy in
Author: Roadjob

Good spotting on the camera...Koni Omega, the workhorse of the wedding photography industry at the time. I went on to Bronica Square and Hasselblad during the 80s and 90s.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



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