Photo of the Week
February 23, 2020

Not to go crazy with the Mindi, but I had to post this old 1950's photograph scanned from a 35mm slide.  I was searching for something and opened the Jim Wich folder on my external hard drive and came across this image.  Of course I jumped for joy as this is a really good photo of the Mindi when it was still painted the old rust brown color.  The old Panama Canal tugs, ferry boats, and other floating equipment  were also painted this color.  This is a good capture in time when the Mindi was working the south approach to the Pedro Miguel locks.  The operator had to be very cautious not to hit the wall or approach apron.  The Pedro Miguel Yacht Club is seen to the right.  In the distance you can see the emergency dam close across the chamber and it appear this lane on the locks is under overhaul as the caisson is blocking the chamber.  This means work on the gate/s is underway.  Lots of things going on in this photo and I am sure glad Jim took this photo.

Jim signed my guest book back in 2004 which led me to contact him.   He gave me a disk with a lot of slides he took while working on the Panama Canal.  He lived close by and I met with him a couple of times.  He wrote in the guest book:

"I worked The Panama Canal Mechanical Division from 1942-44 Navy 1947-1953. 1949 to 1953 with The Locks Division. In 1942 worked on SIP 7.Gatun and 1943 SIP7 Pedro Miguel were I got flooded out of the tunnel and almost got shot by a Army Guard at 12 Midnight going back to the machinery room. Fell off the scaffold repacking the SIP 7 Jack on West side. Had other scary things at locks. I enjoy These pictures very much and the other information . Hope to be there on Feb. 25th on The Horizon in Colon. About 200 Canal employees will be on the ship. Some will tour on 2 buses. I have about 200 color slides of The Canal 90 of which I sent to The Panama Museum. Thanks again , Jim Wich"

Jim passed away in 2014 at the age of 93.  I was sad to see yet another one of the old timers pass, but he shared his legacy with many in photos.

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