Monday, July 09, 2007

My Old Jungle!
No, I did not take this photo at one of the many Cook County Forest Preserves. This scenic and still undeveloped piece of land, is actually just across the tracks from Chicago's Curie High School. Back in My high school days, this was a sort of a hideout for Me. ( Every kid needs one.)
I used to love exploring this little piece of weed grown property, and watch the A,T & S F transfer trains traveling over the immediately adjacent Belt Railway of Chicago owned track.
This place, located behind the old Shasta Beverages plant on West 51 St Street, hasn't changed much from the 1970's...other than it is now greatly overgrown. I had the unfortunate experience of getting into a "Fistfight" with a trouble making jerk named John H. in My Art class back in My Freshman year, 1977. He was always trying to start something with Me, and one day started a fistfight with Me in the hallway after class. A teacher broke it up quickly, took us to the Deans office, and then found Myself Suspended for 5 days over this IDIOT! I was afraid to tell My folks, who would Freak Out over little things, and I found Myself hanging out here in My new found jungle for a few school days.
My folks eventually got the official letter of suspension in the mail, and I had to answer to it.
However...This was the first time I got to take in some railfanning on the BRC and the adjacent Indiana Harbor Belt Stockyards branch. It was an unusual early railfan experience.
It was a serious matter back then, but now I look back and laugh at it all.
I had great early October weather to enjoy it all too.
It was great to see the place again after all these years on a June 2007 visit.

1 comment:

lapstrake said...


I remember this area well. The local kids used to call it "Trails" and they would walk the trails through the weeds, climb some trees and just get away from the city life. I used to enter at the tracks where they crossed Lawndale Ave. right across the street from the Woolworth's warehouse (now World's Finest Chocolate) and walk a bit over toward Hamlin where there used to be an old grammar school then head towards my grandmother's house.

Ahh the memories...