Thursday, May 1, 2014

Where I Go From Here (Alternate Title: Now What?)



To be perfectly honest I don't have a good answer. It is now May. I have not finished. I'm a lot further ahead than I was but that's like saying I'm 300 miles closer to the Moon than I was last November. My season is over for now. This past December I could look out my window and see my neighbor raking leaves in his yard. Now that winter has passed and spring is taking a firm hold I cannot even see their house anymore. 

I'm torn about whether I have enough material for a book. Finding a publisher is a bit of a task in itself. Then, of course, the realities of life are there to remind me I have responsibilities that are not even remotely related to my dreams. 


Why we were in such a hurry to be adults I will forever ponder.





I've gone back through my pictures from last couple of seasons. I found this Texaco sign by accident down in LA somewhere between Enterprise and Ozark. To be honest when you drive thousands of miles two things happen. One, you begin to lose track of where you've been. Keeping good notes was what I gleaned from that. And two, you tend to go over the same roads at times which, while seemingly contradictory to One it's not really. I won't remember an exact location but I'll sure remember I've been here before. I say this to say the next time I passed through here this sign was gone.





The old drive-in north of Clanton. I can only imagine how popular this place was back in its day. Small town America is a great place to grow up but we all needed distractions.

Movies were our window to the world. And I'm sure many a romance started with a date to the drive-in.




The former US 31 bridge just south of Garden City. It's a little difficult to get to by design but well worth my effort to get here. It's a fairly long bridge (100 yds or more) for bridges of this nature. I noticed that its clearance is only 12'-9". Too low for today's truck traffic. In fact it would make the truck I drive for my job a convertible.



Believe it or not this is a motel. At least 12 rooms or more. I have no clue what its name was but Pineview seems appropriate. Just north of Camden at the intersection of AL 28 and AL 221, this motel seems very out of place now. Motels took advantage of busy highways to lure guests in. When looking at where this is on a map I have no clue why folks would have been going this way. It's close to nothing.




A big safe is all that remains inside this building in Saint Clair (not to be confused with St Clair). I'm guessing it was too heavy to move but then I wonder how the door came to be laying on the ground next to it. 








My intent, as many of you well know, is to publish a book of my photos. To the handful of publishers I have talked to they all seemed to like my work but they don't deal in my genre. That's not exactly true. A couple seemed interested but they had requirements I could not meet. I don't fault them for this. Publishing, like a lot of things, is a gamble. They want to sell books and there's a lot of people out there who think they have the next 50 Shades of Grey. While I have no clue what somebody else thinks is literary genius, the bottom line is you have to convince any publisher to take a risk on you. I'm not Ansel Adams. I'm just me. And I would wager they are plenty of better photographers than me out there who can't get a book either. To that end, I will most likely end up going the self-published route. I've made some good contacts who will guide me through the process and I will most likely do this through Amazon. 

Good Lord willing, maybe I can put something together before Christmas. 

That's a qualified maybe by the way.

Maybe no one will notice I neglected to mention a year either...

27 comments:

  1. Good luck! And by the way, saw you mentioned here: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2014/04/26/buildings-big-fish-set-still-draws-visitors/8189743/.

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  2. Glenn,
    Found out about your blog after reading the Spectre post in the Montgomery Advertiser. You may be the only person I know who has traveled more of Alabama than my wife and me. A few years ago we started an expedition to visit every county seat,and look at the courthouse. We refused to take the interstate and traveled exclusively on the back roads. I am working my way through your blog, and really love your writing. I guess you are originally from Huntsville, which is my hometown (class of 61). The only negative I have found thus far is your choice of football teams. Growing up in Huntsville in the 60's, there weren't many fans of your team that I can remember. It was very solid Bama country.

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    1. Hi Greg. Thanks for posting your comments. As far as my connection to Auburn that's a long family line. At least when I was growing up. I am from Huntsville. Graduated from Butler as well. And yeah I've seen a lot of Alabama. Around 20k miles by now and honestly I look forward to next winter so I can see more.

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    2. My sister graduated from Butler I'm guessing around 69-71, the same class I believe as a terrific running back at the time named Bo Matthews -she passed away 11 years ago yesterday. I haven't had a chance to review your entire blog, but if it is not already located somewhere within your travels there is a fantastic bridge located in Marengo county that crosses the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway. I forget the name of it, but it is a fantastic picture I believe right up your alley. It is only one or two, I believe, in the country that shared the same surface for rail and auto travel (of course not simultaneously, there were lights to stop auto travel when there was train traffic). It also was a vertical drawbridge for boats. It is located next to a huge, I believe Georgia Pacific, paper mill. You may have already seen it, but it seems like a good addition if you haven't already photographed it.
      Greg

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    3. This is awesome! I'm so glad you're doing this! Screw publishers! go on Amazon and self publish. My friend did and when I finish my book, that's what I'm going to do. Her website is www.beingagoodancestor.com if you want to see what she did. Your work would make a great coffee table book!
      Good luck!

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    4. The abandoned train tunnel picture at the beginning of this entry, is that by chance in Tunnel Springs? I've been there before (my family has land close to that tunnel) and I have always been interested in it. I love your pictures and I know of some places you might want to put on your list of places to photograph (all abandoned and awesome in southwest Alabama). I've taken pictures all this area -- you cam check them out www.Flickr.com/leigh49137

      Keep up the good work! :)

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    5. It is, indeed, Tunnel Springs. Trust me when I say it was an arduous task getting to it though. I would love to know about more places to shoot. Thank you for taking time to read my blog!

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    6. You should definitely self-publish via Amazon. I think you'll find there are a lot of people interested in old southern ruins, a market-niche. I have self-published my fiction (publisher went out of business in the 90s) and found it all a challenging experience. I'm never going to make a fortune, but I'm getting a regular pay-check. By the way, love your photos! I'm from Cullman, and the old Hwy 31 bridge is a landmark of sorts; Garth Brooks made a music video there once. Keep up the good work!

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    7. Thanks for stopping by! It looks like Amazon is going to make the most sense for me as far as investment. Especially since they do print on demand. The trade-off is that a hard cover is not an option. I'm hoping I can appeal to enough people to make it worth my while but still it would be cool to have a book with my name on it.

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    8. Good work.
      Publish Amazon with a clip-off back page to order a hardcover directly from you. Get a hard manufacturer to do it as a self sticky glue on spine with graphic design to match your pics. Just make sure design is great, digital photos are high res and color matched to Amazon printing press and paper is photo quality.

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  3. You expressed curiosity about the abandoned small motel near Camden. It was built in the early sixies to help accommodate the construction workers who were building the Miller's Ferry Lock and Dam for the Army Corps of Engineers. We lived on Highway 5 near Browns, and when I was 5 or 6 years old, I would fall asleep at night counting the trucks carrying granite rip rap from the quarries in Birmingham to Miller's Ferry.

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    1. Thanks for the background! What you say makes perfect sense since it didn't appear to be a major highway to any major destination.

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    2. The name of that motel was Pate's

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  4. Any idea when you might be coming out with your book? I am looking forward to purchasing it!! :)

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    1. I had hoped to do it before this Christmas. The reality is that I decided I didn't have enough material. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to being particular. I would rather have an abundance of good pictures as opposed to just filling a book with mediocre photos. I plan on finishing this winter and publishing next year. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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  5. You might try photographing the "Billy Gould Mine Site" in Helena....pre-Civil War mine site...not very easy to get to, but interesting with old ruins. However, ruins may be gone now....haven't been there in at least 15 yrs.

    Also have you looked at any of the old B'ham mining portals, like Valley View (under The Club)?

    I would buy your book! I love the topic of "Forgotten Alabama"! Love stuff like that.

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    1. I'm not familiar with the Gould Mine site so no clue as to where it might be but would love to know. I am familiar with some mine sites but most of them are sealed or difficult to access. Thank you!

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  6. Please publish a book!! You are so talented! Would love to see everything compiled & have it out on the coffee table to share with everyone!

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    1. Yes, yes I am talented but also quite modest ;-). But in all honesty, I appreciate your kind words and rest assured I'll do my best to have something you would be happy to share with everyone.

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  7. Great Blog. I am jealous that I didnt think of it first. I am a cyclist and constantly note stuff like this. Thanks for you work.
    Cayce

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    1. I was fortunate to find a niche that seems to have some appeal. I'm a huge fan of urban decay and wanted to see if rural decay would find a place as well. I appreciate you stopping by and your kind words.

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  8. Glenn, great job, if you find yourself down in south alabama we will buy you lunch, nice article in mobile newspaper today, robin

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    1. If I'm down your way I will Google Robin Anonymous and give you a call ;-)

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  9. Wondering if you will be starting another journey anytime soon! So so many places in rural alabama!

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    1. Funny you should ask. Check out 'Tis The Season http://forgottenalabama.blogspot.com/

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