Tight Spot


16 x 32”

Hannemuehle Leonardo 300# Rough

Years ago, I worked remote in an oil field, shoulder to shoulder with two groups of men. One group accepted me; the other tried to drive me out. It was dangerous work, though, and we had to work as a team if we wanted to stay alive. I grew up a lot in that oil field, and believe it or not, I miss working with a bunch of men just being men. The closest I have come since then was tagging along with the crew of volunteers and employees at the Nevada Railroad Museum, photographing them, then painting them with their wonderful machines.

 So meet Lee. He was a Restoration Specialist for the museum when I lived in Carson City, and one of only two or three people allowed to operate Engine No. 22, the magnificent Inyo, under a head of steam. Engineering a steam locomotive is like art: knowledge and skill and sheer gut. Things can go south in moments on a short set of cars that takes half a mile to stop at full speed. Just like my oilfield crew-mates, I miss these men.

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