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Gila's Place

A menagerie of eclectic things…

My childhood home is just across these tracks; first place on the right. Town is behind me as I sit here watching the artwork go by. I realize that graffiti is vandalism but it is artwork none the less.

Anyone that’s ever lived in my hometown has been late for work, school, church, child delivery (yes) or something, waiting on a train at one (or more) of the four crossings in The Ville. You can get past one crossing only to get blocked on the next by the very same train.

I spent the better part of my teen years grounded due to my inability to leap over trains in a single bound and make it home on time before curfew. According to my mother the trains were not an ‘excuse’ for being late. They should have been planned for and I should come home way ahead of curfew to make sure that if I got caught by one, I would still be on time.

The train below is moving but I have known them stop on these tracks for more than 20 minutes at a time. Sometimes they were long enough that they would cover three full crossings at once. They had no schedule that I was aware of. Plan for that.

The artwork was always fun to watch though.
….and here comes the dark work!
There’s almost always a skull in the bunch. Pretty nice work, really. I often wonder how long a piece like this skull would take, as simple as it seems.
It’s a challenge sometimes to read the letters as they go by.
Others are plain as day.
Every car has something on it. Graffiti was just as common in the 70’s and 80’s as it is now but back then, the railroads kept it washed off or painted over.
Some are covered with not-so-nice things. Have to take the bad with the good sometimes, right?

I don’t see a fraction of the trains through town now compared to my childhood. They carry coal and after decades of corrupt Illinois politicians and Obama’s reign of crazy, there aren’t many mines left to produce coal. And with the new green legislation, Illinois coal is on the endangered species list.

I cannot imagine the devastation to this small community, and others like it, when the coal is gone.

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