There was no mistaking your dashing prowess upon the canvas; the rakish angles slashing through splashes of light and color in an inimitable signature of steel and speed that left no doubt in our minds that we were viewing a legend in the making.

For a generation and then some, your work was the face of the Horsepower Race, and it left little to imagine that EMD was at the forefront.

Yours was the style that could reach into hearts and make a bold statement; the older ones, weary from the loss of the beloved steam locomotive were suddenly revitalized at terms such as “Second Generation.” And the young were just WOWed.

So were those sitting in the boardrooms counting beans and playing with their slide-rule ‘Horsepower-to-tonnage’ equations, tasked with moving the commerce of the nation.

No greater or more recognizable marketing masterpiece could be found than that which displayed the Tom Fawell signature, and it was renowned in the circles of professional railroaders and hobbyists alike. They were simply and unmistakably unique and captivating pieces that were visual representations of the word “ACTION!”

But today, there’s a No. 10 Filbert sable standing upright in its holder, a slight thumb print on its ferrule in dried paint from some long ago work perhaps, and a palette just waiting for a variety of colors to spring forth from it as a Maestro with his baton would conduct Dvorak; and a canvas filled with possibilities, just waiting for you to lay-in the latest high-horsepower offering from Electro-Motive Division.

Alas, the lights in your studio are dimmed, and your easel a silent sentinel amid the lingering aroma of paint. The brilliance of your time here is forever imprinted upon our consciousness even as its passing trails off into the night, out to the vanishing point that lies somewhere beyond canvas’ edge.

Farewell, Tom.


Rick Malo©2019

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