A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Covered Bridge

Cottonwood, Alabama

Just a covered bridge on someone's private driveway in rural Alabama.  I am winding down to the end of my pictures from our spring tour through the South.  This one is the last from Alabama.

That is a No Trespassing sign on the left, a security camera sign and birdhouse on the right and a locked gate to the rear.  I bet they have a nice place beyond those woods.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Roy Black

East of Greenville, Alabama

I kind of thought I showed this way back while we were on the road but couldn't find it on my list of postings, so here you are.  This didn't look like it was ever a service station or store of any type.  Perhaps Roy just wanted to let everyone know where he lived.

I like black and white photos but with pictures of the South, they just need to be in color so you can really appreciate how pretty it is there.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Helen Keller

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Nearby the Jesse Owens museum I spotted on my AAA map the birthplace of Helen Keller at Ivy Green.
I figured "Why not?"  I was glad I did.

Helen was born in the little cottage off to the right, but lived in this house in her childhood years.

The parlor

The Dining Room. The chest to the left was the sugar chest where sugar that arrived only twice a year was kept under lock and key.

I paid my $5 dollars, got a rapid fire speech by an elderly very "Southern" lady and was then left on my own to wander about.  I think she was suppose to stick with me through the house but being I was the only one...well I don't know what she was thinking, but she sent me off upstairs and she stayed down below.

I think this was Helen's room as there were two beds, the second for her teacher Anne Sullivan.

The "boys room" my brochure says.

It's been a long time since I've seen the Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke but this hand pump played a pivotal role for Helen.  Annie wrote these words later that historic night, "she has learned that everything has a name, and that the manual alphabet is the key to everything she wants to know."

That is Anne in the second picture down on the left.  She died in 1936 and Polly Thompson who had been their secretary since 1914 became Helen's companion and I think that is her in the bottom right photo.

Helen was born June 27, 1880 a normal child.  At age 19 months an illness left her blind and deaf.  She last visited her childhood home in 1954.  She died in her sleep in 1968 at her home in Easton Connecticut. 

The tour lady was a wealth of information spouting off all these facts about Helen and the house.  Well after all, she must go through this spiel dozens of times a day.  Finally towards the end when she paused for a breath I asked where Helen died at.  This caught her off-guard, and she turned to ask the lady at the counter if Helen died at her home in Connecticut or not.  Maybe since I stumped her on the one and only I question that I asked is why she shooed me on upstairs by myself.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monday Mural

Dothan, Alabama

I always enjoyed watching old black & white cowboy movies with my grandfather, 
although they were not so old back then.  
But I do not remember this movie star but then, I was just a little cowboy at the time.

For more murals on Monday Mural go to Oakland Daily Photo

Sunday Signs

Marquette, Kansas

More interesting is the building the sign was painted on.  You'll notice newer brick in the upper right half of the building and how the white line brick stops all of a sudden.  One cannot help but to wonder as to what calamity took place here.  Being Kansas...a mini tornado?  A big one would have obliterated the building.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Burning Bones

Lucas, Kansas
(Yeah I know, were back in Lucas again but the little town was chuck-full of blog material)

Those are all toy dinosaurs on the roof with a trunk and tanker fuel truck in the middle.
Pipelines run down on each side with small oil derricks in the middle of the engine hood.
At the tail of the truck it reads: Combating Genericana.  
Your guess is as good as mine.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Not Long For This World

Right now, as you read this, somewhere in the middle of Kansas stands this house all by itself, with nothing else around for as far as the eye can see.  Just sitting there.  But for how much longer? 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jesse Owens Museum

Oakville, Alabama

We had pretty much exhausted our list of things to see while touring the South so on our slow way back home I resorted to looking for sites on my AAA road map.  I spotted this which was in the direction of our travels.  It was a rainy day and only one other foolish intrepid traveler stopped to view the Jesse Owens Museum while we were there.  Jesse was born in Oakville and lived there until the age of nine when the family moved on to Cleveland, Ohio.
Inside the museum was most impressive; far more than I expected.

I never took a picture of the outside of the museum!  Guess I was afraid of getting wet.  

But I was curious as to the home he lived in and waited for the rain to let up some then made the 100 yard dash to it in record time.

My pictures through the wet glass didn't come out as I was using that iPhone thing as I didn't want to bring my Nikon out into the rain.  So here's a selfie instead.

Jesse and the hurdles.

They had a mocked up long jump pit nearby marking off the distances he jumped.  You the visitor could run and jump into the pit and try to match Jesse's record.  I would have but...it was raining remember?  I didn't want to get my Converse muddy.

So get this, this Olympic star was a pack-a-day smoker for 35 years, gets lung cancer and dies in Tucson, Arizona in 1980 at the age of 66.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Birthplace of the Blues?

Cleveland, Mississippi

We were traveling on some little rural back road of Mississippi when all of a sudden there was this classic nonfunctional service station.

Around in back was the Dockery Farms plantation.

Then I saw this sign.  This is something I never gave much thought to until then.  What was really cool was below the sign was a button you could push.  I pushed it.  Original classic blues music taken from scratchy old 78 rpm records began to play from various speakers hidden around the grounds.

I didn't notice it while there, but did so while fixing up this post...it looks like that tree has fallen over against the building yet it is still alive.

This large diesel motor stood retired and quiet inside the gin mill.  
Look at those huge belts that drove all of the milling process equipment.

I could just imagine a beautiful southern style plantation mansion must have stood at the end of this road. But a shut gate means something so I stayed out.

This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the South; it was all so green and lush, wonderfully quiet save for the sounds of the Blues still playing on as we drove away.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Big Cross

Groom, Texas

Some may recall my first character I ran into at the beginning of our Tour of the South - Martha. 
Here she is again, and a link to that most memorable encounter.

Well she told me I just Had to See It and there was no missing the 190 foot tall cross as you could see it a mile away from the Interstate, although the Cross people say you can see it from 20 miles away.

 It was really a poopy day, cold, with a fierce wind blowing.  There were a ring of statues of Christ carrying his cross, the twelve stations they called it, each depicting a particular moment of his journey to the Crucifixion.  You should be able to see them here.  There was a lot of other statues also. 

The detail work was quite remarkable.

 It was a horrible day for picture taking.  This was a scene of the Last Supper the plaque read.
It must have been early on as not everyone has shown up yet.

Notice all the crosses in the distance too.

There was a huge gift shop where one could find everything they needed to fill their spiritual needs.
I know I had a photo of the inside but I think I lost it with that iPhone of mine.

I converted this to black and white which made little difference from the color image; 
the skies were that bad.

So there you have it, what once was the largest cross in the western hemisphere, at one time.
I don't know who outdid them, or where the even bigger cross is but I have no plans to go search it out.

Monday, July 22, 2013

In the Alleyway

Lynchburg, Tennessee

If only more houses backed up to an alley could be this interesting.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monday Mural

Lucas, Kansas

This has to be one of the most colorful murals I have come across in my travels.  It is a shame the sunlight was not on the wall but it is still striking nonetheless.

Again, notice how the outline of Kansas makes its way into the mural.

Here you can see how Post Rock is quarried. (below the train and 3 people)
Then used as fence posts to the right of the quarry.

And so you can read the sign better.

For more Monday Murals go to Oakland Daily Photo.