Three-Hundred and Eight


NJ Transit Training Center- Newark, NJ

November 5, 2016

  • 1.
    the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
    “students in transition from one program to another”

When I began this blog earlier this year, I mentioned that I was less interested in trying new things and more interested in doing ‘old’ things, and doing them better.  That would imply the opposite of transition.


Hoboken Terminal

But then again, the greatest life lesson I learned from my grandfather is this:

The only thing that changes are names and dates.  The events remain the same. -Maj. WH LaForest, USA (Ret.)

In essence, the only thing that ever remains a constant… is change.  So I was incorrect to think that this year would be without change.


NY Penn Station

After giving it some more thought, I realized that my life, too, is very cyclical and Autumn is the state of change for me.  Just about every major transition I have experienced occurred in the Autumn.

  • I was born in Autumn! (Lucky for that, too!)
  • I had my first “career” after high school commence in Autumn
  • The travesty of 9/11 occurred on the cusp of Autumn, which led me to attending Basic Training in the Infantry Capitol of the World (HOOAH) at the end of the following Autumn.
  • I met my wife, Matil, in Autumn.
  • I began my greatest career goal with the Gwinnett County Police Academy in Autumn.
  • I took the initial written test for NJ Transit in Autumn, which would afford us the ability to return home to New Jersey from Georgia.

And lastly most recently,

  • I quit my job with NJ Transit in the Autumn.

NJ Transit Dover Yard, New Jersey

I crossed out ‘lastly’ above and replaced it with ‘most recently’ in order to illustrate my frame of mind throughout this ordeal.  When I resigned from the Gwinnett Police Department, there was a hell of a lot of emotions and stress involved.  It was not just a resignation because I thoroughly enjoyed my job, felt I was pretty good at it, and had an awesome time working for the DUI Task Force.   I came to feel my career was robbing me of a life, but not by the Department or the workload as everyone says happens with policing.  No, it was not that at all.  The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners, chiefly Charlotte Nash (who is running for reelection presently) robbed myself, as well as my wife, brothers and sisters of the due-compensation, benefits, and general gratitude to the deadly service we provide to our communities in a effort to make them a better and safer place to live and play for the population at large.If that sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder, then I did a good job writing that sentence.  If not, then try this: 😡…And I do not think I am offering too many personal details here.  My reason for stating this is that all the poor decisions she and her cohorts made are of public record but chiefly witheld from public forums.  That is unfortunate because there are a lot of people suffering and those who are starting their careers as emergency responders and public servants with young families should not simutaneously qualify for food stamps.

Moving on for those who have not clicked away yet.  My attitude this time round is far different.  It is not that I am happy to have quit my job, because I am not happy to go through such a large transition again.  But it is peaceful.  Peaceful in the way that only experience can provide.

NJ Transit has allowed us to gain that life outside of work back.  It has allowed us to visit (both) Portlands, Scotland, all over the eastern seaboard, trips to Florida, and put me in an environment where the scenery during bicycle rides is as superior as the effort of the ride itself.  We hiked up and over Bear Mountain (twice), Red Hoom Mountain, explored some of the Appalacian Trail, gave boating a shot, and many many other things.

We have hosted a large of our friends from Georgia here, and even had the opportunity to provide a home for one of them for a little while during her college transition.

NJ Transit has allowed us to live and share in the way that we always aspired to do and for that I am very thankful.

So why change?  Because, it is Autumn!


The Lobby in my new office building.

Just kidding.  There is a far greater plan than that.  But I’ll leave it with something I said during the interview:

While NJ Transit is a fantastic organization that has provided me with a successful career, there is no escaping the fact that they are the third largest commuter railroad operation in the nation.  So I asked myself ‘Who is number one?’


So, this happened.

Still, though, it is bittersweet because I was just beginning to make some roots with NJ Transit and make some good friends and I hope to keep in touch.


So, for now, there will be no more sleeping on trains as I have been doing for the past year and a half.  (Which, actually, was quite a good deal!)


HB-30.  Greatest job on the railroad.

So for now, I’ll transition from just photographing one of the greatest architectural feats in Manhattan to working under its roof.


Grand Central Terminal.  Not the tallest, but the grandest.

And here is a short time lapse I did awhile ago:



6 thoughts on “Three-Hundred and Eight

  1. Mark, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post… Congratulations on your new position! I loved the pictures, it is like I have had a visit… one I wish to make real as soon as my husband retires!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading over my comment, I realized I meant to say Too bad that public servants aren’t given both the recognition and monetary compensation they so justly deserve. I wish you a wonderful weekend. Smooth sailing, my friend.


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