Aug 26 2010

Times Union Blog:  “Serendipity and the Black Beast”

Author and Schenectady County historian Don Rittner has written an article on his blog on his experiences last week with the Black Beast. Here are some highlights:


"My interest peaked when I learned they made racing cars and in particular one called the Black Beast. I have written about this already in a couple of blog posts so won’t rehash it here (just do a search here on Black Beast). Like most history lessons, it was all about yesteryear, old photos, and published sources. If you told me only a few months ago that I would be riding IN the Black Beast AT the ALCO plant, I would have asked you what kind of cool aid you were drinking – and yet that is exactly what happened last Friday."


"...if you came to the monthly Schenectady Roundtable at Schenectady City Hall last Friday, the 20th, you saw the Black Beast up close and personal. It was a huge hit. For me, it was one of those defining moments in your life when you think life is good, real good....

"...So around 1PM on Friday, Howard pulls up with the Black Beast at City Hall and thanks to the Schenectady Police Department (and the Commissioner) we had a police escort over to the former ALCO site off Erie Blvd to take some pictures of the car in front of the building that has American Locomotive painted on it. Dave Buicko, the new owner of ALCO graciously gave me permission to bring the BB over to the site. I thought it would be a good idea for the BB to come visit “mommy,” after all it is here in the main office where the decision to make the car took place...Howard asked me if I wanted to take a ride (does the sun shine!!!) and I jumped in and we did two laps around the building at about 30 mph (it can do over 100 mph). It’s hard to describe the feeling of being in a car that you only knew about through history and photographs. I took video so I could prove to myself the next day it wasn’t all a dream. I have posted it on Youtube so you can share the feeling – watch my ride."

Don, excellent summary of a real fun day!


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