These tracks cross West Washington Street in West Chicago. Anyone who has driven this route – even one time! – has likely sat and waited for a freight train (or two!) to pass. This intersection of road and rail is not far from where the coach yards used to stand and a short distance away from where the round house was once located.
Though these and other important structures of West Chicago’s railroad history are lost from view and often from collective memory as well, there are still strong symbols and memories of the formative force that the railroad was – and continues to be – for this town.
One such memory was shared with my in response to Snow Tracks. A woman who grew up in West Chicago remembered:
Before technology there was an arm that extended to the Caboose of the train. My dad was a conductor on a freight train. They would attach his instructions and notes of where they were headed any accidents up ahead or any other thing that the railroad guys needed to know.
The memories and history that are brought out and share with the community in response to my paintings continues to surprise and delight me.