Thursday, July 16, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - IV, random pictures

i know...this post is way too fucking long, too convoluted and too full of my screwed up sense of humor. suck it, trebek. it's my blog.

on our roadtrip to and from amarillo, we took several sidetrips down obscure farm roads to see what we could see*. on one of the more profitable of those meandering excursions we saw the coolest thing. this low flying barn cresting a hill just the barest bit above the ground as it skimmed, star wars style, over a hay field.

who knew barns could fly?**

i took over 300 pictures on the trip to and from amarillo. i won't bore you with all of them, or all of my silly ramblings about them, but here are a few.

these next 3 were taken at a roadside strip mall just outside of henrietta, texas. it was a sunday and the place was closed, so i have no idea how much they wanted for the steel and tin sculptures, but they were kinda cool. they'd make good yard art or beer garden decorations. the store name in the background is "cadillac cowgirl." i can't help but wonder if it's owned by the same person who lives about 50 miles back, here.

this headless cowboy is next to a coral with a couple of horses that awol didn't exactly make friends with. when one of them came out to take a leak awol's jaw went slack at the size of it. (oh wait, maybe that was terri's jaw...) anyway, much barking ensued. (i'm pretty sure it awol doing the barking.)

this is my favorite piece they had. being near the town of henrietta it reminded me of a chicken i once had named henrietta. when my ex and i first moved to dallas back in 1975 we brought our one remaining chicken with us. one day soon after the move she got out of her pen. the next thing we knew she was chasing our cat down the middle of velasco street in broad daylight! it was a sight to see. ahahahahaha. henrietta. she was a real hoot, but i don't think she ever totally made the transition from free range country chicken to being an illegal city-chicken.

these here are 19th century saloon doors in Saint Jo, texas.

(did ya notice how i hit the shift key there? that's because Saint Jo is an extremely awesome name for a town. it's a shout out to all you Jos out there!)

there's also a bit of irony in those swingin' doors still being there. it seems the name of the town is due to a town founder guy named joe, nicknamed SAINT JO, being such a zealous prohibitionist.

later on in the trip, while stopped to check out a historical marker, (it's about charles goodnight and will be featured in a later post about all the historical markers we saw and might just bore most of you to sleep)...

awol found these 2 dung beetles moving their goods across the plains of the panhandle of texas. actually only one of them was doing the moving. the other one just hung on for the free ride.

hmmm...come to think of it, that sounds kinda like me on our roadtrip. just along for a free ride, no real responsibility, other than acting as navigator/tour guide.

would you believe we spent at least 30 minutes watching them do their thing?(pun intended) well, we did.

now this is a pretty famous roadside attraction. it's called cadillac ranch. i will have to admit i consider it the most boring/least interesting thing i saw on our trip aside from an ill-advised stop at a sonic drive-in in some podunk town. and even there we saw a guy hauling a freaking airplane*** behind his truck with the plane's wings tucked back like a downhill racer.

this is what it looked liked when stanley marsh 3 installed it back in the day...

and this is what it looks like now. well, almost. that was 2-3 weeks ago and in the single hour we were there, about 5 cans of spray paint were unloaded on the cars by the visitors. sure, it was still kinda cool and the artist doesn't seem to mind the graffiti, but i give it about a 2 on a scale of 10 compared to other stuff we saw.

for instance, palo duro canyon at sunset is very, very cool. it's a 9, at least. (ok, so i got camera happy and took too many dopey pictures here, but if you looked at that web album...did you see all the hoards of wild indians on the ridgetops? i sure did.) we only stayed an hour, but i would very much like to camp out there for a few days. you should check it out some time if you ever have the chance.

i know i'm rambling on too long to be showing this next one. it's just a car we saw on the highway. it's a "versa." i'd never heard of that model car and was just wondering if they shouldn't have a bumper sticker made that says, "my other car is a vice."

but then, they'd probably never be able able to decide which car to take, would they? "vice?, versa? - vice? versa? - vice?..."

*to see what we could see... ****

**if you believe that, i've got a flying pig i'd like to sell you.

*** ****also one of the funniest novels you'll ever read.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

free haircuts

i heard it was 108 here today. hah! take this, you dickhead weather man, you...


did you click on the pics to view the videos? did they make you want one of my free haircuts? if so, be forewarned - i only know how to give one kind, but it's very, very cool.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

free food

speaking of free food, check out the fun we had today...

the news was on at mom's when i was there yesterday or i would never have known about this, but it seems today is cow appreciation day. (that's according to fast food restaurant, chick-fil-a, the guys with the funny *eat more chiken* ads.)
this was the deal: dress up like a cow, head to toe, and receive a free, full meal; just wear a cow hat or whatever and receive a free sandwich.

informed that i could get a free sandwich just for acting up a little, and... well, what do YOU think???

note: the following link to a web album will be replaced with on-site pics when i get to a connection that will allow me to upload to blogger. (my home connection is sooo lame.) in the meantime, check these pictures out.

terri had the most creative idea. she had me cut some holes in an old, white, rally, t-shirt and wore it over a black t-shirt for the "cow look." then she painted a black circle around one eye, painted big red lips on herself, put her hair in pig tails for "cow ears" and voila!

i'm pretty sure chick-fil-a should hire her for their next ad campaign.
(she had another really funny idea, but i'm not allowed to talk about it... and i deleted those pics, anyway.)

me, i strung an old cow skull i happened to have lying around and wore it as a necklace.

and awol?...he just went as himself, of course. (black spots on white dog = fake cow in my book.)

now you may be asking yourself, "did they buy that shit?"

they sure did = 3 free sandwiches and a whole lotta fun.
hahahahahahahaha, i bet you thought we'd get 2 sandwiches at best.

(so did we.)
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

roadtrip - III

signs, signs, signs & more signs...a story about signs of life, signs of entropy, hand carved signs, hand scribbled signs posted on barricaded doors and windows, signs of past glory and signs of 4-napkin-hamburgers*... the following is a quick tale of signs of all kinds.

at 50 mph it literally took about 30 seconds to pass through estelline. if we noticed anything at all, it was a few boarded up buildings and a liquor store.

(hard braking action, mouths in full agape position) say WHAT?!

get ready folks. it's U-turn time again...

btw, does anyone know to keep a web album where i put it, behind the cut at the end of the story, rather than on the front page?

with a billboard like that on the outskirts of town there's just GOT to be something of interest in this near ghost town. the question was not IF we should turn around, but what hidden gem(s) were waiting for us when we did. as it turned out there were a few cool old buildings, but they were all vacant.

there is a very cool 1950-ish diner that had us both salivating just thinking about all the greasy burgers burgers burgers served there at some time in the past. ok, i was drooling. i can't speak for terri.

the original, extant at least, city hall/fire department, housed in a very fine 1910/1920-ish red brick building with hand carved limestone signage are both boarded up now,
but a "new" city hall was added on to the structure some time later in estelline's past.

alas. even this cedar clad hall is now little more than an abandoned building. (click on any picture to enlarge)

a funny sign on the door directs you to the current new city hall - it is now housed in a trailer parked just behind. (next to the police-station-trailer, of course.) hahahahahaha.

practically the only signs of life to be found in town were in this grubby trailer park. and even those signs were circumstantial, faint and yellowing, in the form of a bicycle or two, a few old pickup trucks and one clothes line with a half dozen pair of yellowed, stained, whitey tighties hanging from it (insert leonard cohen's "bird on a wire" for dramatic effect. just imagine an indvidual's quest to be free, to be free.) signs of life, indeed.

but wait! maybe there IS life in rural estelline, after all. it appears in the form of one(1) liquor store and one(1) beer & wine store. by god!, there are even cars with current license plates parked out front of them! together these two package stores seem to be the only signs of viable mercantile concern in town.

which brings me back to my original assumption that there MUST be something of interest in a town that boasts a gigantic "SATAN SUCKS" sign as its most visible landmark while the only signs of life in town are where they buy their booze.

and that point of interest, that gem of Estelline, is???

the IRONY. and i freaking love it.
lots more signs and even a true ghost town in upcoming "roadtrip" entries. y'all stay tuned now, hear?

* - according to the rikipedia: "...without any doubt, a 4-napkin-hamburger is a sign of true hamburger greatness. ie: how many paper napkins were used while shoveling said burger into the old pie hole? for the record, i have had a few 5-napkin burgers in my time. and maybe one 6-napkin, but a 4-napkin hamburger is about all anyone should hope for in this life. cross your fingers. maybe in heaven things will get even better..."

click below for more pictures in and around estelline...

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Monday, July 6, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - II

clear out in the middle of nowhere, texas (actually just 2 miles southwest of saint jo, texas), out in a cow pasture among the cow patties and jack rabbits, off a country road, are a bunch of crazy wood and metal sculptures. check 'em out by clicking on the web album cover below...

ladybugs and sunflowers...

the highway for about 300 of the 350 mile trip went right through all the little towns. the other 50 miles skirted the towns rendering a sterile, interstate-like ride.

but wait a sec...what in the cornbread hell is this?

in an otherwise stark landscape sits a house right by the side of the highway. a cadillac convertible is parked in the front drive. two bikini clad women are sitting parade style in the back.

quick! find a place to turn around! we have got to check this out...

hahahahahahahahaha Read more!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - I

a friend had a job interview in amarillo last week. she asked if i'd go along for the ride and for moral support. i said i would on one condition. that we could stop at every historical marker and any roadside attraction i could find.

we proceeded to turn a fairly boring 6 hour drive through west texas into a 9+ hour trek full of all kinds of crazy/interesting shit.

an hour or so and 2 historical markers later we noticed a homemade-looking billboard that said, "GLENN GOODE'S BIG PEOPLE. TURN RIGHT. 2 MILES."

i'm here to tell you, that was a side trip well worth the taking... 2-25 foot tall "big johns", 1-22 foot tall reconstructed "muffler man", 1-17 foot tall "uniroyal gal" who bears a striking resemblance to jackie o., and a life-sized calf are right there for the gawkin'. and the collector/artist, mr. glenn goode himself, came out of his air conditioned house to tell us all about them in the sweltering heat. (truth be told, he loves to talk and more than just kinda likes visitors.)

said he paid 300 bucks each for the big johns. cut off their arms to get 'em there and reattached them himself. they're apparently from some defunct grocery chain. the bags they used to hold are in his back yard.
he paid 5 bucks for the muffler man. it was head, hat and armless at the time. goode, pronounced like "dude" but with a "g", did the fiberglass reconstruction himself.

my favorite story was about the uniroyal gal.
when he got her, she wore a pink bikini, a low cut blouse, and a mini skirt. he told me, "i just had to fix her up a little. had to give her some respectable clothes to wear. so i lengthened the skirt over 2 feet and put a decent shirt on her."
(phew!! thank god for that!)

i think i still have a myspace page somewhere out there in digital land. anyway, a photo i found on the interwebs of the 2 middle figures was my profile picture for quite a while. i called them mr. and mrs. muffler man. i never knew anything about them until now. cool!

oh, and the calf? someone just gave it to him.
one day sometime later, he got a call from a neighbor. said his cow got loose and would he come get him? mr. goode said he didn't own any cows. turns out some kids had stolen the fiberglass calf in the night and it must've fallen out of their truck making a turn not too far away from the scene of said rustling.

here's a link to a web album of some photos of the big people outside of gainesville, texas. click and enjoy the madness...

big people

stay tuned for more roadtrip pics and stories.
...just don't hold your breath. Read more!