My love for Kalmbach’s book The Mohawk That Refused To Abdicate and other tales is no secret to readers of this blog. David P. Morgan’s prose and Phil Hasting’s photos breathe life into a remote past I’m too young to have known first hand and I return to this volume again and again, finding comfort each time. Reading these stories I long for a time I cannot visit, while the many places they visited are now unrecognizable, having been trampled by the relentless march of time.

The ability of language to transport and transform is a mystery and a gift that continues to amaze me and I’m grateful to those who exercised that gift with the skill and grace that Morgan and his peers did.

Words are important but ours is a visual generation now, with nearly everyone carrying a camera in their pocket or purse disguised as a phone. However, just because you have a camera, that doesn’t mean you can communicate well with images. Video has its own language, its own craft, its own mysterious power to transport and transform when skillfully used.

Some of you have seen this video before, some of you haven’t. And, as a friend suggested, its content and theme feels alien in a hobby dominated by overt commercialism. With such a focus on stuff, we aren’t that comfortable with the ideas and thoughts so well voiced by Ken but behind every one of our attractions to trains, there’s an emotional core looking for a way to come out.

I wish a Merry Christmas to all.

Mike