Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Little Boy's Dreams come true and why I like Streamlining

Wesley is really into everything trains these days. He loves model trains, and even got a special invitation via grand-daddy to ride an engine at the Little Rock Port Authority as they shunted cars full of things from the various plants by the river to the train yard. (We hauled a bunch of pipes that had been reclaimed from Canada by an Indian company and then sent to Arkansas to be refinished and then sent back to Canada for a oil pipeline to the U.S-((Wesley got an early taste of globalization)) as well as around 100 or so desert painted Hum-vees on flatcars.) We got to ride in two different engine models--a 45 ton switcher (the photo with the Little Rock port authority engine) and a Santa Fe engine that you're probably more accustomed to seeing pulling long trains . Of course, Wesley had a great time. It was one of those experiences that will surely last in my memory, and I am sure will live in Wesley's memory for a long time. How many 4 year old boys get to do that kind of thing? Thanks, Dad.

Wesley's whole fascination with trains has schooled me a bit on trains too (I never really was into them), and while he prefers the Diesel engines he can watch pull trains through Okmulgee, I like all the beautiful designs from the age of streamlining. The other day, I was listening to Studio Tulsa on our NPR station, and heard that the Tulsa Philbrook museum had been given a new collection of industrial design from the same era. Tulsa is a big hub of art-deco and streamlined architecture. I used to work at Boston Avenue UMC, which is a paragon of art-deco architecture.
We got to go up to the chapel on the top floor of the tower (right above the pastor's office--the pastor, by the way, is afraid of heights) the other day when we got our flu shots. It is interesting to me that art deco and streamlining really fits into the mystique of the era when those designs were popular. It really breathes optimism. Everything, including toasters and vacuum cleaners and camper trailers, deserve to look like they are poised to take off in flight. That suits me.

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