Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Little Things

By now you have become acquainted with my journey. The miles I drive. The things I see. The problems I encounter. They all play a role in some form or fashion.

But then there's the little things.

My Garmin GPS is a great tool. I would be "lost" without it. The downside is that it has its shortcomings. It would amaze you how much it mangles street names. Pineville Road becomes Pennyville. Pulaski becomes Pull-loss-sky. Any American Indian name like Chattahoochee or Eufaula is doomed. Once when I was in Union Springs I was told to turn right on Chunnenuggee Avenue. Ms. Garmin so mangled that that I started laughing. It's also a less than perfect directional technology. When choosing routes I can pick faster time or shortest route. Most times, once I'm in the flow of my premade maps, I will choose shortest route. The reason being I might luck out and find something I might have missed otherwise. That means it will take me over whatever it thinks is a road. That includes roads that do not exist. Shorter route also takes it so literally that it will send me down a dirt road to save 100yds.

Things look different when you see them in reality. I spent the summer of 2013 mapping out the entire state via Google maps and Streetview. I would scan mile after mile and if I spotted something I would drop down to Streetview and see if it was worth stopping. When I eventually make it to that place I originally mapped out it's different and the same all at once. The road looked flatter on the map or there's no place to park. I've also come to recognize where I am by things I've already seen. I will pass an old house and think "Oooo...I need to get that!". Then, once the slipping clutch that is my brain slips into gear, I realize I was heading southbound the last time I saw that house and had already shot it.

Gas station chicken. Don't knock it till you've tried it! Some of the best chicken I've ever had came from a small deli in a gas station. The Shell station in Dadeville, The BP on Lee County 240 and a Pure station in Marengo County all have great chicken. The chicken at the Chevron in Wilton, Alabama gets four stars!

I took this at dusk. The old Seaboard Airlines depot in Ft Davis. I was in a frenzy to get here before dark. It is much darker than it appears in the photo and the picture is too grainy for my taste. It still looks ok so thought I would share it but will probably have to revisit this soon.

This great old house is in north Montgomery on Goldthwaite St. It appears somebody was trying to save it but apparently has not been touched in a while. It looks beautiful and yet kind of ominous against the dark cloudy sky.

I live for things like this. Ok...perhaps a bit of hyperbole but, in my particular hobby, this is considered a clue in a modern archeological sense. An old Birmingham Post from June 1949 I found in an abandoned house just outside of Wadley. As it turns out this was huge national news about Alger Hiss and stolen atomic secrets.

I've passed this small building on US 231 north of Troy many times but never had time to shoot it. You can make it out better in the winter but in the summer it's a building-shaped kudzu masterpiece.

I shot this because I thought it was funny. Keep in mind I see humor in the strangest things at times. I just thought it was ironic that Alabama native Bobby Bowden, two-time winner of the National Championship in football, gets honored with a 50' bridge on Cobb's Ford Rd east of Prattville. To the best of my knowledge he has no connection to this area at all. Must be quite the honor! 

Then again it may be another Bobby Bowden entirely....


  1. Have you ever been to Leighton, AL? Many abandoned buildings there including a middle school.

  2. I have been to Leighton. There's a general store that has a mock paint can mounted on the facade. Could not read what the name of the store was though.

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  5. Saw your piece on Fox 6 this AM. Finally, I find that some person has exactly my taste in photography. I love to photograph the old things that are going away. Just had a photography exhibit at the Anniston Library for two months. Wish you could have seen it. Anniston is a good place for (old buildings, etc.) Where can I purchase your book? D0 you know of any old drive-in that has the metal speakers on the post? Carolyn Mink ( Let me know. thanks.

  6. Love your blog - had to go back & read everything you posted. I love seeing old abandoned things though I never thought of photographing them till recently. A lot of places I've seen in the past year while house hunting. All my pocketbook could afford were places that had been abandoned. LOL. I love your photograph on Goldthwaite St. I would like your permission to paint a watercolor version of the photograph. Please let me know at Thanks.

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