Saturday, July 2, 2016

Galveston's Ghosts of Travelers Past

Last week my younger sister and her little guy came to visit and we decided to explore the city, or two cities actually. We packed each day with activities that all little boys like, dinosaurs, swimming and trains!! We took the boys to explore the Galveston Railroad Museum, where we saw more trains than their little legs could investigate. From mail cars, to dining cars, cabooses and more.

One part that my sister and I were interested in was an exhibit in the old train station. Its called, "Ghosts of Travelers Past".  

According to the Galveston Railroad Museum website ...

Our "ghosts" were created by Elliot and Ivan Schwartz of New York in 1981. They depict individuals who passed through the museum's waiting room in 1932. The artists hired live models and wrapped them in wet plaster to form a mold. The models had to remain still for 5 hours while the plaster dried. The molds were removed from the models and reinforced with rebar. The 1930s clothing the "ghosts" are dressed in was either purchased at local antique stores or sewn by the artists' assistants who used a 1932 Sears Roebuck and Company catalog as a reference. 

These "ghosts" are absolutely amazing and bring to life the travelers of the "Railroad Era". There was one "traveler" in particular that my sister and I both, separately were drawn to. For some reason, this gentleman below reminded both of us of our paternal grandfather, Paw Paw. We lost him nearly 7 years ago, so maybe his absence in our daily lives makes it easier to see him everywhere.

It's not an exact likeness, but maybe it was the hard lines of his facial features, his confident body posture, or a feeling of patience that drew us. I can tell you that if you put this figure on a porch rocker with a bunch of kids playing in the dirt and shouting from a game of tag then it would be almost as if he were with us again.

Regardless of our familiar connection, the museum and the exhibit are both worth the time and trip to explore. There are 5 tracks of trains to explore, rooms with dining replicas, model train displays that will capture your attention if you're 8 or 80. I'm sure I will be back many times to visit with family and friends, maybe you'll see me there!

Until our next cup of tea ...

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