Saturday, June 23, 2018

KFC, 6060 and Me

On September 29, 1979 we rode a Upper Canada Railway Society fantrip behind CNR 6060 Toronto-Gravenhurst, return. The fall colours were bright even though the day was mostly overcast. Little did I know what waited at the end of the trip....fried chicken. Read on! Walking up to the engine during a watering stop at Bradford at 0910:
Upon arrival at Gravenhurst, 6060 was uncoupled to run around the train and haul it on the sidetrip to Washago. Watch the firehose, follow the smoke, Dad!
More watering took place at Gravenhurst. No wonder the railways were so keen to convert to diesels!
During the sidetrip to Washago. I perched on a signal, to get 6060 backing up. It wyed itself and UCRS solarium car Cape Race. Looking very steam era-ish:
The marker lamps from the last VIA Dayniter coming from Gravenhurst were placed on the rear of UCRS Cape Race, which would be the last car when returning to Toronto:
Back at Gravehurst, as the consist was re-marshalled, (top photo) supper was spotted. See that white, peaked-roof building straight down the track in the centre of the photo, below?
Here's a close-up, showing a fatigued but otherwise happy 15 year-old future blogger bee-bopping along the ballast with two types of true trackside treasure - a bag of KFC and some discovered discarded railway documents in hand, better showing the KFC which appeared like a desert oasis. Not a dessert oasis, though. Chicken, man, there must be chicken there!!
I published a Trackside Treasure post (the fifth one ever!) on the trip and make a brief mention of supper during the layover from the just-down-the-track Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet. It was in a good location - visible to three hungry railfans!  To quote the caption accompanying my Dad's photos of me, "We were lucky to have time to walk down the track to buy a supply of Colonel Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken".  Now with cassette tape recorder in hand, 6060 is seen tacking Cape Race on the tail-end:        
For a long time, and based on many epicurean encounters, I've considered KFC up as the ultimate trainwatching (or train-riding!) fast food meal. Maybe it's no coincidence that KFC restaurants are usually located near train tracks. It's one transportation gustation inspiration for starting my Fast Food And Trains (FFAT!!) blog. Notice that signal bridge in the 1979 and 2016 photos...
We returned to Gravenhurst in September, 2016 (CN trackage - above). 'Pilgrimage' is perhaps too poetic a word to describe our drive-by. "You can't go home again" is more apt. Where was the tall KFC bucket on a pole? Slightly upscale, a caricatured Colonel Sanders loomed out from the store's squared-off roofline. There was no panting steam locomotive nearby. No happy throng of tired 'daisy-pickers' weary and ready to return to Toronto after a day in Muskoka. TrainSim enthusiasts have included this KFC location, albeit in an earlier design iteration, in their virtual version of the line, with assistance from GoogleEarth.
Posted to an online photo auction site...two Gravenhurst KFC photos by Bram Bailey. In 1978, it's the ONR Northlander beneath the bucket.
Earlier, on July 25, 1976 it was CN 5047. The red and white pole stripes were a little less faded and check out that fenceline! Both photos just edge out the nearby natural gas installation. Did somebody say gas? Well, it is a fried chicken place. 

Running extra...

Book contributor and fellow blogger Steve Boyko kindly posted the first review of Trains & Grains. Thanks for your support, Steve! Also for posing your paged progeny in front of La Salle, Manitoba's Paterson elevator (above). I'm happy to add that the books are now entering a second print run. And between filling orders, I finally had time for a 'family portrait':
The front patio layout is in process. Had a few incidents and accidents. It's good to get outside in the fresh air. Early stages...


Michael said...

Makes me think of Sarnia, where old Bullet Nose Betty rests in Centennial Park, and newly restored too. I have never had the chance to see one of these old steamers in operation. I'm hoping the Bytown Rail Society organizes something in the future with one of their prized pieces.

Eric said...

That would be great to see, Michael. In the meantime, check out that BNB at Sarnia and dream of the past!