Jim Lancaster's Family Stuff
I have a doctorate in engineering and worked for over forty years in the aerospace industry.
My wife Sharon is a retired first grade teacher and reading specialist.
We share interests in travel, classical music, renaissance and impressionist art, gardening, skiing and hiking -- and she has ridden many trains with me over the past 46 years.
We live in Orange County, California, and are both active in Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana.
Our oldest son, Geoff, and Pam Talley were married in June 1998. They live in Henderson, NV.
My first travel experience was a trip by train from Los Angeles, California to visit my mother's relatives in Ferndale, a small town in the northwest corner of the State of Washington. However, since I was only two years old I remember absolutely nothing about the trip.
That initial trip was followed by three similar trips when I was four, six and eight years old. On one of them we also traveled by train from Ferndale to Libby, Montana to visit more relatives.
When I was about seven years old we made a train trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It included a ferry ride across San Francisco Bay, a cable car ride in The City, and a return to LA on the Southern Pacific's famous Daylight.
Those trips in Tourist Pullmans and modern streamliners, pulled by magnificent steam engines, left an indelible impression on a young boy. Needless to say, they also left me with a love of trains -- something I've never outgrown. I'm sure that's also where I first developed my interest in travel.
In Junior High School I began taking photographs of trains with a second hand Kodak Brownie box camera. In the mid-1960s I bought my first single lens reflex camera -- a Pentax. In addition to photographing trains, I began to dabble in travel photography. I'm sure my slide shows helped several family members overcome insomnia.
In 1990 my wife and I went on a group tour to Israel and Europe -- the first of eight foreign trips we've made over the last 18 years. The antiquities we saw in Israel awakened a new interest in me -- archaeology. In addition to being a fascinating subject, it also provided a new focus for my travel photography. Our travels have taken us to Japan, China, Tibet, England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel.
Why a Website?
Basically it's a chance to share some travel experiences, to share a little photography, and to share a few insights that may make your travel a little more enjoyable. And the internet has opened up a whole new means for planning a trip. You'll find out more about this, plus articles about my favorite destination, by visiting the Travel Page.
For a little insight into the past, visit the Archaeology Page. Although it's somewhat oriented toward the specialized field of Near East Archaeology, you may find it interesting. Who knows. You may decide to travel specifically to an archaeological dig sometime. Maybe we'll meet there.
If you like trains, or are just curious, take a look at the Trains Page. You'll find quite a few of the photos I've taken over the years. For a look at a related hobby visit the Model Railroad Page. Finally, I'm interested in preserving the history and images of Packing Houses in California.
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