Lithograph image size 22″ w x 14.5″ h. on heavy stock paper dimensions 24.5″ w x 17.5″ h.
$75.00 – $500.00
This is a painting of a fledgling rail fan paying homage to the Florida East Coast Champion in the 1950’s at the Jacksonville Terminal in Jacksonville, Florida. This magnificent edifice was the meeting point for numerous railroads that ran in and out of Florida
The little rail fan (that is waving at the beautiful red and orange FEC locomotive) was at a transfer point between trains. His mother lived in Orlando and his father in Detroit. He experienced many trips between the two cities by train to visit the far-flung mom and dad.
It was the 50s and our little rail fan was African American. It was a tremendously more difficult experience to travel between Orlando to Detroit than a white American. Prior to the Civil Rights Movement, black passengers on the Champion and other trains running through the southern United States were restricted to the “colored” coach, a combination baggage/coach behind the diesel. African Americans ate behind a curtain at two designated tables next to the kitchen of the dining car, but were barred from the observation-tavern-lounge on the rear of the train. Such a person of color was not aloud to be in the unparalleled luxuries of the “white areas” of the train.
But this little rail fan learned how to circumvent the prejudices of the culture with a smile and was able to access the sacred (whites only) areas of the train that were not accessible to adult African Americans. Thus this small kid experienced the full glory of traveling between Orlando and Detroit eventually to become a conductor on Amtrak. He is highly regarded in his profession and is very enthusiastic about passenger rail travel to this day.