A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On a Road Trip - sort of

A few days ago I featured a few vehicles ideally suited for a road trip.  You may see them here.
Here are some more seen on our tour of the Great Plains but they are not in any shape to take on a road trip.

This Chrysler was seen in Chandler Minnesota and in it's day, 1948 or thereabouts, 
you could do no better for a road trip car.

This early 50's Chevrolet sat alongside the road near Tipton, Missouri

This early 40's Chevrolet sedan was in tiny little Jud, North Dakota. 
Like the Chrysler, this would have been Chevrolet's top of the line.

And this old Ford pickup sat far back off Texas State Highway296 near Dye Rd.,
 in the nothingness of the Texas Panhandle. 

This will be my last post for awhile.  A situation came up and I have to make a drive down to Los Angeles for a few days.  I'll be back next year.
Yes, Sinbad is coming along too.  He already knows something is up.  Smart cat.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inviting Sign

Seen in Arizona

Signs like these attract me to investigate further.  This time I restrained myself.

It could just as well be posted at our borders these days. 
Pretty much describes our country's present condition.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Monday Mural

No, not really.  None of the murals I have really had any connection to the holiday season in any way so the best I could come up with was one from my own Sonoma Valley where I live.  This mural is in the town of Sonoma itself and as it says "Blessings of the Sonoma Valley" so blessings for this holiday season upon you and yours wherever you live.  

Sinbad and the Bird

So tantalizing close

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Road Trip!

Seen in Seligman Arizona, all of these just say "road trip" to me.  Which would you choose?

My years are past for a road trip on a motorcycle but I would love to have that BSA.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Must Move On

If you are reading this then I guess the world didn't come to an end.  According to the interpretation by some of the Mayan calendar, the world would end on this day.  But the clock is still ticking for December 21, 2012 so we're not in the clear just yet.  It is also the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year.  So it is either going to be a short day, or a really short day.  If it turns out to be just another day, probably 9 months from now there will be a baby boom and all will be the offspring of idiots. (saw that one online and thought it funny)

These last few posts of abandoned bicycles were from the college where my daughter teaches biology.  While at her home for Thanksgiving I rode my bike to the campus thinking about getting some nice fall color photos.  I was amazed at the number of bicycles left behind by students, some obviously had been there a long time.  Why?  How could they just leave them like that?  It made me think how this generation who had everything handed to them has no respect for what they own.  So I took a bunch of photos planning to do a piece on it.  Then Newton Connecticut happened.  All I can think of is the little boy or girl who went to school that day and never came home. 
The abandoned bicycle images said so much to me.

I have more abandoned bicycle photos but now they have taken a whole new meaning and I must move on.  I still have Christmas to get through though and my thoughts will be with those in Newton.  Christmas will never be the same for them.  Christmas time will always bear a horrible memory from which they cannot escape, but this first one will be the toughest of them all.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Childrens Mural

When I was in Bentonville Arkansas admiring and photographing this mural, I would never have believed I would be presenting it 3 months later with such sadness and sorrow for all the children and their families in Newton, Connecticut. 
My thoughts are to all who have a very tough journey ahead of them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I have nothing

no posting 

I don't have it in me after what took place yesterday in Connecticut

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tiny World

I didn't last long out there that day.  Dressed all wrong.  Feet were cold, my nose started to run.  Wimped out and went home.  But I discovered some new possibilities on my run yesterday.  Just hope the rain doesn't do them in.  And I can remember where I saw them.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Olivia, Minnesota

When one thinks of Iowa, usually corn comes to mind.
So it was a bit of a surprise coming upon this in Minnesota.

Olivia has been calling itself the "Corn Capital of the World" since 1973.

At "50 feet", this is supposedly the World's Largest Ear of Corn.
Well, that's 50 feet including the gazebo so just how much creditability does claiming to be
 "The Corn Capitol" have?

In this post is the Jolly Green Giant who was a true 55 feet tall.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Filling in the Wall Station Hole

(notice how I rearranged the words from yesterday's title for today. I amaze myself sometimes)

As I left off yesterday, while taking pictures this guy came out from the ice cream shack across the way.

He proceeded to tell me how this was never a functional filling station, when it was built, why, and on and on and on about the history of the area while his chocolate ice cream cone dribbled down his hand in the Oklahoma heat.  He got on a roll and details were just pouring out barely without pause to take a breath.  As he put it in 1928 a loaded ore truck from the mines came roaring down the road out of control right where the Little House on the Highway is parked, and plowed into the side of the brick building taking out the entire side.  He said the wall we see now was an interior wall in the building and the windows were installed when the wall was redesigned with salvaged brick from the crash.

Here you can see how the windows didn't fit right.  Later when spray foam sealant was invented that was used to fill the void.

From the remaining rubble this little filling station was built.  But fuel tanks were never put into the ground (it was here he led me around pointing out some detail with the curbing, the concrete slab, the original building, the road, all regarding the missing fuel tanks - I barely kept up)  and in the end it was all just for looks.  The current owner lived 20 miles away and filled the station with Route 66 memorabilia thinking it would sell.  But usually when anyone arrived in Oklahoma they’ve by now had made enough stops along the way from everyone else trying to cash in on the Route 66 thing, they had no need for anything more.  His venture lasted for 6 months and here it sits, unmolested, a fact which continued to amaze me as I looked around.  By now my new friend had built up a full head of steam and the stories were pouring out of one after another.

He got going on about Bonnie Parker of Bonnie & Clyde fame.  Bonnie had an aunt who lived in Commerce and she spent a lot of her time at her aunt's home.  Bonnie married at 16 to a "no-gooder" who ended up in jail for robbery or manslaughter, he wasn’t sure which.  This is when she ran off with Clyde Barrow.

So a lot of the time the authorities were in Commerce trying to close in on the duo.  Bonnie and Clyde kidnapped the sheriff and constable of Commerce where in the end they killed the 60 year old constable - “He was a mean guy anyway.”  But Percy Goode, the young sheriff (31) had always been nice to Bonnie and let her slip by on a lot of her misdeeds of youth.  And in that they feel Bonnie was instrumental in sparing his life.  The sheriff was to die 10 years later of an heart ailment. (He would just throw out these little side-bits of information and kept moving on with his non-stop monologue while I watched the chocolate ice cream drip, drip, drip onto his shoes)  It was here in Commerce they hastily left their apartment when the law was closing in and the famous roll of film in the Kodak was found that contained the well known photos of Bonnie posing with cigar in mouth and pistol in hand.

When looking for this photo I saw another taken on the same day with Clyde, the two playing around.

With chocolate ice cream still running down his hand and he taking the occasional swirling lick he went on to tell me how 90mph winds whipped through the area three days earlier and that was the reason the backside of the brick building was ripped off leaving a pile of bricks lying on the ground.  This same Microburst played out in my visit to Chris Bisbee the bowling ball guy (Nowata OK.) who had some of his yard art blown away and the last Laura Ingalls home I visited (Caney Kansas) that sustained broken windows.  I took more pictures squeezing my guide with cone in hand in on the side.

   Then he took off on how where the tan metal building now stands, there use to be a brick two story rooming house where Harry Truman once stayed - before he was President, while the show girls worked in back.  It was really a brothel and the girls did a bit more than just being "show girls".

The young man was a wealth of information and accurate or not, he was entertaining.  I eventually had to put a stop to him and his stories and slip away under the premise that I had to go pee.  I simply was unable to retain anymore of what I had already heard and was afraid I wouldn’t remember it all when I went to scribble it down in my notebook.  I learned from then on that I needed to carry my notepad with me at all times.  Even that little trailer sitting there had a story.  A woman from out of state pulled up to check it out while I was taking pictures and we got to talking.  She had heard about the trailer sitting there by some means and had driven all this way as she was had been looking for a vintage trailer.  It was a great story but I didn't remember to write any of it down after what I had went through with my historian friend.  I never got his name either.

 I didn't made it into the ice cream shop and I sure could have used a cookie and a glass of milk too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hole in the Wall Filling Station

 Commerce, Oklahoma

The uniqueness of this oddity supposedly was that this service station was built into the side of a brick wall.  The trail to the site led me into a seedy part of town.  Well the whole town seemed a bit weird, eerily quiet, with nary a person out and about.  I finally found the service station, parked and got out to take a few photos.

No one was around and the store filled with Route 66 orientated items was locked up and looked to have been so for some time.

My first thought was it seemed strange that this place could stand here all this time without being vandalized or things stolen, considering the neighborhood it was in.

Notice the gasoline price.

This one even older and cheaper.  You can see a selfie here.

The owner had a sense of humor.

I was just finishing up when a young man came out from the ice cream shop across the way.  He began talking with me and things got real interesting from then on.

Monday, December 10, 2012


These are hand-carved wood ink pens.  As I was taking the photo the guy remarked "What good is that doing me?"  Not sure as to what he was getting at I said the light was good on these and thought it would make an interesting photo for my blog.  "Got a business card?  I'll give you a plug."  So here you are.  In need for a stocking stuffer for Christmas?  Check out www.KenEagle.com  or   e-mail him at KenEagle8808@aol.com

Meanwhile this little feller was enjoying the morning sun at the flea market also.

I am finding that this iPhone is taking perfect photos straight out of the camera.  I've run some (including these) through the few edits I do in my photo program and it changes nothing.  So these are just as they come out of the phone except straightening them out. 
I'm not holding the iPhone level. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Four Corners Mural

This is a continuation to my post a few days ago from No Man's Land Oklahoma which you can view here.

Here's my take on this.  Business was so slow in this remote portion of the Oklahoma Panhandle that the owner had nothing else better to do with his time than do the above mural on the side of his cafe.  It turned out to be very rewarding and fun to do so he decided to do another on a much broader scale.  He was really getting into his grand masterpiece when the economy really took a dive and slow came to a stop and so did his mural.  Then one day he locked the door that final time and drove away from his cafe, service station and unfinished mural.
And maybe not.

To see more murals go to Oakland Daily Photo Monday Mural


Little Shop of Signs

Along with all the games and candy boxes was an assortment of old signs, all new to me.


I like the old detective mystery magazine look to this one.

Then there was this unique selection of band-aids

But the most bizzare item by far was this, and it must have actually been a seller in its time.