January 28th, 2020

carole lombard 02
  • vp19

How Carole got to Union Station

Above is the only known photo of Carole Lombard at Union Station in Los Angeles. She's with Howard D. Mills, a local Treasury Department official, as she prepares to board the Union Pacific's "City Of Los Angeles" train on Jan. 12, 1942. Less than 100 hours later, Lombard would be dead.

But for more than a quarter-century, Carole has "lived" at the historic terminal through this artwork, called "Traveler":

She's in the lower right-hand corner of the multi-format mural, as this close-up shows:

Many years ago -- in fact in the summer of 2007, two months after Carole & Co. began -- we did an entry about this artwork (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/21500.html). Now we've learned even more about it, since some examples of how Terry Schoonhoven created his 1990 work are on display at Los Angeles Metro's customer relations headquarters, a few hundred feet from its location at the east end of the Union Station terminus of its Red and Purple subway lines.

And here they are.

The original shows Lombard on some steps, holding a cigarette. Since smoking had long ago been prohibited at Union Station, it would have to be removed for this version. And for artwork named "Traveler," a panorama of people traveling through town, why not have this rendering of the early '30s Carole sit atop her luggage?

Here's a close-up of Carole's face:

Impressive, isn't it? Worth checking out the next time you're at this historic and beautiful rail venue, last of the classic American train stations (opened in May 1939).
  • Current Mood
    jubilant jubilant