in my humble opinion

I’ve been working on the railroad

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 4/21/21

With my camera, that is. Truth be told, it was never my ambition to be a photographer. I began my career in writing long ago but invariably relied on others to provide images for content when …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
in my humble opinion

I’ve been working on the railroad

Posted

With my camera, that is. Truth be told, it was never my ambition to be a photographer. I began my career in writing long ago but invariably relied on others to provide images for content when necessary. I’ve always wanted to tell compelling stories but thought that “painting a picture with words,” as high school English teacher Miss Longo instructed, was enough. I never thought it necessary to add images to move the story along. 

 “It’s called photojournalism,” a colleague once said, “and your pictures are often compelling. I’d give it a shot, if I were you.” A photojournalist is “someone who photographs, edits and displays images in order to tell a visual story,” according to some unnamed source on the internet.  “They are journalistic professionals [who] are skilled at interpreting and communicating an event through photographs.”

 I don’t know that I’m particularly “skilled” in that arena, but I sure do enjoy it. Even though it was a cold, somewhat blustery day for an outing, I threw some hand warmers in the dog’s stroller (don’t judge) last Saturday and headed for Callicoon, NY, which is (among other things) a photographer’s paradise. Situated on the banks of the Delaware River and peppered with gorgeous architecture, the town is infused with a deep sense of history and is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

My goal was to tour the old train station, having been made aware that the historical building, located in the center of town, is also undergoing a rebirth. A note from the Callicoon Business Association’s (CBA) executive board member Nicole Valance explained, “The community’s response to the tours has been extraordinary, and it’s been really gratifying for the CBA’s Depot Committee” she said.

 “Among all of the things we’re doing to move the project forward, we will continue focusing on public outreach. Giving residents a real voice in this process has always been a primary objective and the tours have proven really successful in generating ideas.”

A peek at the website (www.callicoondepot.org) was informative. “The charming train station in the center of the Hamlet of Callicoon was built in the late 1890s by the Erie Railroad after the original train station was destroyed by fire. Over a century later, this beautifully preserved structure is being transformed into the Callicoon Depot and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Visitor Center.”

In addition, I heard that there would be a little celebration of Earth Day outside of the depot with a smattering of vendors and some live music. “What could be more wholesome or natural?” I asked the dog, quoting the irrepressible literary character Auntie Mame, and off we went.

I took plenty of photos because the old train station is (IMHO) just plain gorgeous. As each layer of drop ceilings and false walls are peeled away by the dedicated army of volunteers, the depot clearly has a story to tell, and I was stoked to be seeing the “visual story” unfold. I plan to keep track of the Depot and renovation process, but it’s clear that the goal is to honor its past and return it to its original glory while serving the public in a modern world. I’m attaching some photos without any clunky words, hoping that they tell a story on their own. Want more photos? Like the River Reporter on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and check us out at www.riverreporter.com.

Fun Fact: “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” is an American folk song. The first published version appeared as “Levee Song” in Carmina Princetonia, a book of Princeton University songs published in 1894. The earliest known recording is by the Sandhills Sixteen, released by Victor Records in 1927.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here