Old 06-27-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
ShortlinesUSA
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Default R.I.P. Tom Sink

I got word last night that Tom Sink passed away last night after an extended period of failing health. Many of you have likely seen his wonderful photos of classic shortline railroading across the South here on Railpictures.net. Tom was a true Southern gentleman, and I was privileged to meet and railfan with him on the TTI ahead of Summerrail 2009.

He will be missed, but hopefully we will enjoy scans of his slides for years to come. Rest in peace, Tom.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:50 PM   #2
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Sad news to hear and thanks for letting us know. I have several of Tom's pictures in my Chesapeake Western Album and I am so grateful he shared them. I changed the albums cover picture to one of Tom's pic's in honor of him. RIP

http://www.railpictures.net/album/3138/
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:32 PM   #3
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Was a very nice man, and a great photographer.

Loyd L.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:41 PM   #4
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I hate that he has passed and hate that I never met him. He leaves behind a great record of the history he has shot. He may have more shots of the old Rockton & Rion here in South Carolina than I have seen anywhere else. I hope this does not sound heartless, but I hope his photographs will be preserved in some fashion by someone with an eye toward railroad history.
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
I hate that he has passed and hate that I never met him. He leaves behind a great record of the history he has shot. He may have more shots of the old Rockton & Rion here in South Carolina than I have seen anywhere else. I hope this does not sound heartless, but I hope his photographs will be preserved in some fashion by someone with an eye toward railroad history.
I'm also sorry that I never met him. I've always enjoyed his photos on RP.

WRT your "heartless" comment, it's a very real concern. A good friend of mine, who was with me when I took many of the shots I've posted here, is now well into his 80's. Many times we discussed what would become of his slides, which date to 1959.

We both knew, or knew of, many different fates that befell different collections. One nameless photographer's collection, mostly B/W and movies dating back to the '30's, is in the hands of a niece, who thought the collection was too valuable to share with the public. To the best of my knowledge, all of his film is in an attic, just rotting away in the summer heat.

One photographer with stuff, including slides, dating to the '40's who has passed on was known to have said "I don't care what happens to my pictures after I'm gone - when I'm dead I'm dead!" Fortunately his daughter sold the slides, and some have since been published.

Charlie Houser left his portfolio to his son, Charlie, who recognized a way to put the collection to work. After selling off certain peripheral chunks, he started making dupes and became a staple at train shows all over the northeast for a long time. I think he later gave up the train shows, and he was slowly selling off the originals on ebay.

The last time that I discussed this subject with my friend, de still didn't know what to do with his photos, That's the problem for all of us - how do we answer the question of the disposition of our collections? Let's face it, most of us have a hard time managing our own collections, and expecting someone else to take over is a tall order. While we don't want to think about our own mortality, we do need to think about our legacy.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:14 PM   #6
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One of the photos Tom posted years ago from another collection has been one of my favorites on the site. It was taken a few hundred yards north of my house back in the 50's. Several years I attempted to contact him, offering to pay for a higher resolution scan if it were available, to print and hang in my house. Unfortunately I never did hear anything back.

He has some really nice shots of the old Danville & Western with Southern power taken near the Bassett, Va area that I've enjoyed seeing. Most of it was gone before I was old enough to drive.

Image © Bob Drake [Collection of Tom Sink]
PhotoID: 365921
Photograph © Bob Drake [Collection of Tom Sink]
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:06 PM   #7
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I will second everything Doug said, Joe. My understanding is that Tom's collection is extremely well organized, and his death was not sudden. He maintained company with several railfans with a strong historical sense, so I would like to believe there is a plan for Tom's collection to live on after he left us.

It is also my understanding that Tom did not do any of the scans you see here on RP.net, as he never embraced the digital age in any fashion. So someone else has already been scanning his work. I believe Chris Starnes did some of them.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA View Post

It is also my understanding that Tom did not do any of the scans you see here on RP.net, as he never embraced the digital age in any fashion. So someone else has already been scanning his work. I believe Chris Starnes did some of them.
That is the story as I know it as well. He was agreeable to having select others scan / print / etc his collection, but as far as I know he didn't do any himself.

Loyd L.
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