Day 7: Tennessee part III

Today was spent mostly on the backroads of northwest TN. The morning started out with rain but that quickly passed.

Highlights: Lots of nice old Greyhound stations today. Whoever allowed the Greyhound in Dyersberg to become a Domino’s Pizza should be run out of office. At least the building is in great shape (though the interior’s all gone). I was thrilled to see both the Greyhound and the Kress Building in Blytheville, AR are being restored simultaneously.

Disappointments: The giant Big John in Dyersburg has been gone at least 20 years. I checked out lots of theatres for a flickr pal, Jack Coursey, and found most of them to be missing or depressingly stripped.


This good-sized motor court, now the Courtland Square Apartments, must have been wonderful in its prime. Lots of detail still left.


Across the street from the Kress building in downtown Blytheville, AR is this wonderful threesome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen three buildings in a row faced with vitrolite glass.


And just down the block, though not my era, is this very nice bank.


This nice welcome arch on Highway 61 at the MO/AR border has “Entering Missouri” on one side, “Entering Arkansas” on the other.


I’ve been seeing these trees that I don’t think exist in the Northeast. I call them “Cousin It” trees but does anyone know what they’re really called?


Spring has definitely sprung here in Tennessee.


Lastly, I leave you with this strange bird phenomenon that I’ve observed quite a few times in different areas of the country. Last night, I saw it again. Hundreds of starlings (I think they’re starlings anyway) fly crazily and land in trees and yack at the top of their lungs. Are they recounting their day to each other? Just what is going on?

3 thoughts on “Day 7: Tennessee part III

  1. re: Starlings (I think)

    I saw a show on NHK about a city that was overrun by these birds. It was in Japanese, so I only caught some of it. The gist was, the birds were hanging out peacefully on the grounds of a nearby castle during the day. But come 6:00 every evening, they’d swoop into town and cover all the trees along a main avenue.

    Besides the mess of droppings coming down from the trees, the noise was unbearable.

    The city did some research, and came up with a tape of a distressed bird call, that they played one night over loud speakers into all the trees at once. The birds took off. Then each time the birds tried to land in a new area, they’d send trucks with bullhorns to scare them out of the new place. Eventually it worked, though I think they still have a team of spotters with hand-held bullhorns to aim at any trees they try to occupy again, along with a roving car with bullhorns, ready to spring into action.

    It must be very exciting to hear them in person!

  2. I was in some city about a year ago taking pictures of a bank and had been noticing yakking birds all morning. I finally asked some pedestrians what kind of birds they were and was told that it was a recording! Same thing as in Japan I guess — to keep the real birds away. But somehow playing that tape all day seems just as obnoxious as the real thing.

    And the question remains: what ARE they talking about? Is this the big dinner-time get-together akin to a poker game before bedtime? And what about the daredevil antics in the sky: “look what I can do” and “look what we can do” formations?

  3. Starlings are interesting birds, in small doses. They mimic many other birds, and if you listen closely, you’ll hear hawks, eagles, bluejays, kildeer, robins…All kinds of calls in there.

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