Whale Rock on Seaside Beach 10 miles north of Fort Bragg, CA

Although Fort Bragg is on the Pacific Coast there are few beaches and access to beaches. One popular beach access point is ten miles north of Fort Bragg. Seaside Beach is popular for the amount of sandy beach and also, ask our dogs, because dogs are allowed off leash. There is a large rock about two thirds of the way down the beach the locals call “whale rock.” Our dogs know it well – great sniffingtons!!!! When you approach the rock from the north the outline of the whale isn’t that apparent. When you walk from the south back to the parking area the whale is VERY apparent. I have a dozen of so photos of the rock but none as good as this one:

Whale Rock on Seaside Beach about 10 miles north of Fort Bragg CA

Sir Rod Stewart reveals his epic model railway city

Sir Rod Stewart IS the rock singer Rod Stewart you know.

This article appeared on the BEEB’s (BBC) website as well as appearing in the UK newspapers. Nancy Thornburn gave me the first heads-up, Club member Earl  Craighill gave me the second. I am not going to count how many others I got. Enough of my twaddle and on with the show:

Railway Modeller front page

He’s one of rock’s biggest stars, but Sir Rod Stewart has finally revealed the fruits of his other great passion – model railways. In between making music and playing live, Sir Rod has been working on a massive, intricate model of a US city for the past 23 years.

He unveiled it as part of an interview with Railway Modeller magazine. He then phoned in to Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show to rebuff the host’s suggestion he had not built it himself. “I would say 90% of it I built myself,” he insisted. “The only thing I wasn’t very good at and still am not is the electricals, so I had someone else do that.”

Sir Rod has released 13 studio albums and been on 19 tours during the time it took to build the city, which is modelled on both New York and Chicago around 1945. “A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it’s a wonderful hobby,” he said.

He told Railway Modeller he worked on the skyscrapers and other scenery while on tour, requesting an extra room for his constructions in his hotels. “We would tell them in advance and they were really accommodating, taking out the beds and providing fans to improve air circulation and ventilation,” he said. The scenery and structures are his forte, rather than the locomotives and tracks. “I find beauty in what everyone else sees as ugly – rugged skyscrapers, beaten-up warehouses, things that are very run down.”

Photos of the layout show dozens of highly detailed buildings plus bridges, ships, vegetation and streets teeming with vintage cars and taxis. “When I take on something creative like this, I have to give it 110%,” he said. “For me it’s addictive. I started, so I just had to finish. I’m lucky I had the room. If I’d have realised at the start it would have taken so long, I’d have probably said, ‘No! No! Nah!'”

The 74-year-old singer, who once had a hit with a cover of Tom Waits’ song Downtown Train, put the model city together in an attic at his home in Los Angeles.

Describing the level of detail that went into the scenery, he told Vine that even the pavements had to be suitably grimy.

“You start off with a grey. And then you add a little concrete colour, so every paving stone is slightly different,” he explained. “And the cracks have to have some black chalk… and then you add a little bit of rubbish in the gutters, you add a little bit of rust here and there. I enjoyed the building more than I did the running.”

Fellow musician and model railway enthusiast Jools Holland also appeared on Vine’s show, telling him: “When you get these big scale ones like Sir Rod’s they are like a work of art. They’re like an amazing painting that’s been created in three dimensions.”

Two months ago, Sir Rod revealed he had been given the all-clear after being treated for prostate cancer.”

Pics of his layout:

Rod Stewart’s layout Pic #1

Rod Stewart’s layout Pic #2

Rod Stewart’s layout Pic #3

Rod Stewart’s layout Pic #4

Rod Stewart’s layout Pic #5

The article mentions one of Sir Rod’s hits “Downtown Train.” Here it is:

 

Wabash Cannonball

Our Club’s VP, Lonnie Dickson, thought I would like this Johnny Cash version of the song, “Wabash Cannonball.” He was right – I think it’s great!

It turns out that the song is old and has quite a history. What follows is from Wiki ……

The Wabash Cannonball” is an American folk song about a fictional train, thought to have originated in the late nineteenth century. Its first documented appearance was on sheet music published in 1882, titled “The Great Rock Island Route” and credited to J. A. Roff. All subsequent versions contain a variation of the chorus:

Now listen to the jingle, and the rumble, and the roar,

As she dashes thro’ the woodland, and speeds along the shore,

See the mighty rushing engine, hear her merry bell ring out,

As they speed along in safety, on the “Great Rock-Island Route.”

A rewritten version by William Kindt appeared in 1904 under the title “Wabash Cannon Ball”. The Carter Family made one of the first recordings of the song in 1929, though it was not released until 1932. Another popular version was recorded by Roy Acuff in 1936. It is a signature song of the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjack Marching Band, the Kansas State University Marching Band, the University of Texas Longhorn Band, and of the Indiana State University Marching Sycamores, as ISU is close to the Wabash River. It was also used as the theme song by the USS Wabash (AOR5).

The song “The Wabash Cannonball” is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list In addition to The Carter Family’s 1929 recording and Roy Acuff’s 1936 recording, many hillbilly artists recorded “The Wabash Cannonball” during the Great Depression era of the 1930s and 1940s. Bing Crosby recorded the song for his album “Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits”. The song increased in popularity during this time. In the wake of the song’s popularity, the Wabash Railroad named its express run between Detroit and St. Louis as the Wabash Cannon Ball in 1949, the only actual train to bear the name, which it carried until discontinued in 1971. However, the train was named after the song, not the other way around.”

Some good loco footage in the vid: