About Wx4
and
Its Perpetrator

All photographs not purloined from others, copyright 2003-12 by E.O. Gibson; all rights reserved & blah blah. For permission to use Wx4 site photos, or for general communication, please email us at :

wx4org@yahoo.com


Yep, it's a pretty odd combination for a Web site - railroads and Jeeps - but for me, the first is a former occupation (I retired in 2009), while the second is an advocation. Since it would cost me an extra $25 / year at Doteasy.com to maintain two separate sites, what we have here is a 2fer, a Harmonic Convergence, if you will.

The whole thing started in 2002 on the Wonderful World of Willys Wagons (hence: Wx4) side, but soon The Dome overshadowed the former for three reasons:
  1. I know very little about Jeeps
  2. I have thousands of railroad photographs
  3. At all levels, railroads often perform inside the context of inanity, with hilarious results.

This sorts out things, doesn’t it?

The resultant Mission Statement1 is this:

Wx4 is committed2 to upload as much cool railroad photos & etc. to our site as is humorously possible.

____________________
footnotes:
1 Isn’t this corporate sillyspeak? I suspect that the macho, Rambo-esque tone of the phrase makes corporate executives feel better about being pot-bellied wieners.
2 Except during happy hour

- E.O. Gibson

P.S. When you run across "Wx4 Staff", the staff is - for the most part - me. "We" is also me. Since Wx4 is an .org, I kinda felt impelled to flesh things out a bit. As you may have noticed, hyperbole is our meat and potatoes.



E.O.'s R.R. Life in Pictures and Prose


E.O. in training, Lenzen Avenue turntable, mid-1950's.
E.O. (wishing he was an engineer, rather than a brakeman) with niece & her friend, mid-1970's.


E.O. performing work (honest!), mid-1990's.
E.O. performing honest work while cut-off from train service during the 1980 recession.
Note: The above photo is my only claim to fame, and was flagrently pirated from the book Modern Diesel Locomotives, with my apologies to Hans Halberstadt and his publisher (Heck boys, I bought 25 copies. I'm entitled to something.). Hans probably would have quoted all of the 'old head' B.S. that I fed him, except that my cover was blown shortly after he shot this photo, when my boss, riding the head end of an opposing train, radioed me to inquire why I had placed the wrong train number in the number boards. In my defense, I absolutely NEVER claimed to be anything more than a mediocre engineer.

In September, 1986, I made my last run with SP on this two unit helper, which ran light from Dunsmuir to Grass Lake to help (behind the caboose) a grain train down the hill. Upon tie-up in Dunsmuir, I took this photo, went home to learn that I had three children.

My own little corner of Amtrak at the Company's "Choo Choo U", then (1992) located in the (former Pensylvania RR) Wilmington Shops headquarters building (now vacant?). I had one of the great times of my life (honest!) during the five weeks that I was there. Bonus: I graduated just like my more-competent classmates, even though at one point my two favorite instructors called me into their office to complain that they didn't know if I was alive or dead back there in that corner. Apparently I was alive, guys. And thanks to Bill Morecraft & Co. for everything, including smoothing-over things with the General Manager of the Wilmington electric locomotive shops, when I accidentally shoved a Curtis Staggs through his office wall in the course of thumb wrestling.

Retirement Day, 8-28-09 I had enough time away from my duties to snap this photo of my last two engines side-by-side in San Francisco. I ran the 900 on #211 and was pleased to have "growler" 902 on #324, a Baby Bullet, in place of the usual MPI techno barge. Above left is my last moment touching a throttle before climbing down. Railroading was a great ride, but I'm glad its over! (and thank goodness that I retired before it became a federal crime to photograph one's hand in a parked locomotive)


The REAL Perpetrator:
Though he never realized it, my father - Clifford Gibson (1895-1971) - was a foamer, and he passed his love of railroads on to me. Here in 1964 on the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad tourist line in Felton, CA, he is riding next to the one-time South Pacific Coast Narrow Gauge R.R. tracks (at photo left) that he rode upon in 1900-1906. This was one of many railroad-related outings that he took me upon over the years. To have seen what he saw...