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...



Annie said...

I am loving your roadtrip posts. Living vicariously, I guess.

cornbread hell said...

you know what, annie? i hear there are some interesting llama/alpaca ranches around here. we could probably make a pretty good road trip out of visiting some of them.

and i'm serious about taking the moms with us. but then again, i'm crazy.

Annie said...

Can we include a tour of your sister's spread? How's October sound? Would it have cooled off enough by then so a Northern girl could breathe? :)

bulletholes said...

Hey wasn't there a Chuck Berry song about Estelline?
"oh estelline, why can't you be true
oh estelline, why cant you be true
Don't need no liquor I'm just passin' thru"

cornbread hell said...

annie, if you come my sister would love for you to visit.

bulletholes - i think estelline and maybelline may be related.
considering the cadillac reference in the song and all the cadillac sightings not even mentioned yet on *the road trip* posts...i'm sure they are.

dmarks said...

I want to go to Satan Sucks Antiques.

cornbread hell said...

dmarks - that picture would make a cool postcard, i think.

seanlb said...

i didn't read anything past the asterisk about the burgers. i would strangle a baby puppy for even a 2 napkin burger.

goto john's today for me. eat 2 pancakes and 1 double bacon cheeseburger with jalapenos for me.