Riders on the Orphan Train — Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
Pair Recounts Dark Historical Chapter in Story & Song
Between 1854 and 1929, the Children’s Aid Society (and later, the Catholic New York Foundling Hospital) removed over a quarter million orphans and unwanted children from large metropolises (including New York City, Boston, and Chicago) and gave them away at train stations across the US. Organizer Charles Loring Brace, a New York City minister, conceived the program to rid the city of homeless street children. The impulse behind the “Orphan Train” was charitable, but its history was marked by both horror and hope.
Novelist and humanities scholar Alison Moore and musician Phil Lancaster initially learned about this dark chapter in history by way of the 1995 PBS documentary The American Experience: The Orphan Trains.
The pair have been presenting a 90-minute multi-media program at libraries, schools and universities, and arts festivals all over the US for several years. They have been awarded a number of grants along the way. This past July, they presented Riders on the Orphan Train at the Okemah Public Library as part of the 16th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. The power had gone out for the entire town shortly before they were to begin, but a festivalgoer parked outside the library had a generator and some extension cords in his truck and kindly offered them up, allowing the presentation to go forward.
M-mount lenses do not provide aperture information to the camera body, either electronically or mechanically. Therefore, f-stop settings are approximate, and are probably wildly inaccurate. For what it’s worth, I usually shoot with my lenses wide open.