Oakland native and longtime Moraga resident Les Krames is best known for his affiliation with KRON-TV and the dioramas he has designed and built based on his vast knowledge of military history. But his life has been greatly influenced by trains either directly or indirectly. His dad was an executive for the Santa Fe Railroad, and in 1939 he was transferred back to the Bay Area from Stockton. From that point, though his dad always worked in San Francisco, the Krames family elected to live in the warmer climate of Oakland. A year later he met Roger Heller on the Key System ‘E’ Line after graduating from their respective Oakland high schools to start Junior College when SFJC first opened its consolidated campus in 1940. They remained close friends for seventy years, although when drafted into the US Army in 1943, Heller spent the time in the the Pacific, while Les was stationed in Europe. His parents bought their first house at 6422 Broadway Terrace, right by the eastern entrance to Lake Temescal and close to the sounds of the rumbling freights of the SN.
As an adult, Les followed the sun to Moraga, moving in just after the SN abandoned the right-of-way and the population boom was in progress. He developed a long affiliation with the Moraga Historical Society, where he has made numerous contributions to exhibits on the railroad and other historical notes. He is an Honorary Life Member, Editor Emeritus and frequent contributor to the newsletter, the EL Rancho Moraga Quarterly. His map of the routes and stations of railroads in the Moraga area is one of the highlights of Moraga’s Pride, the definitive history of the Moraga area. Les has contributed in numerous ways to the East Bay Hills Project, by supplying history, making contacts, reviewing photos, and, most importantly, taking the time to go out to the SN right-of-way and explain why things are the way they are.