My mom’s childhood best friend lived in Buffalo and was married to a guy named Bill who was a former US Air Force P-52 pilot. Bill and my dad were cut from the same cloth in many ways, so they immediately hit it off when they were introduced by their wives.
Dad was a railroader. He hired on with the CNR shortly after arriving in Canada. Even after he left the company he was still a railroader, always interested in what the railroads were doing, and often meeting up with his former colleagues either on the job or at coffee shops.
Dad often had me in tow when he visited Bill for the day. The trip always included stopovers at the major railyards in Buffalo, and I loved when dad would follow the Penn Central’s Niagara Branch or the Belt Line to see what we could find. Sometimes he would let me use the Polaroid SX-70 to snap a picture, and often the results were poorly executed instant photos of banal subjects, like this one depicting Penn Central 9633 shoving cars around the bowels of International Paper’s plant in North Tonawanda.