Days 14 & 15: A Better Day in ‘Bama

Well, after the lousy weather yesterday and then the technical difficulties getting internet access last night, today was a complete turnaround.  Pretty skies, zippy connection, tired dogs — what more could I ask for?

Yeah, yesterday was depressingly ridiculous with pouring rain.  Huge distances between stuff in southern Alabama that ate up a lot of time.  Many disappointments as well — giant concrete tomatoes replaced with an inflatable strawberry, neon signs replaced with plastic ones, buildings replaced with vacant lots.  Many of these destinations were too remote so I couldn’t do the pre-check at Google or Bing maps to make sure they were still there.  And then there were some really bad road signs (lack of) compounded by lousy directions from locals that ate up even more time.  And far too rural to make the backroads or mis-roads profitable in terms of things of shoot.

Anyhow – let’s see what I did manage to find & shoot despite the challenges.  Lambert’s Cafe is quite a famous restaurant in Foley, AL — best know for their “throwed rolls”.
Their huge building has this neat painted artwork on the side of it.  This is only a partial view — with a closeup of my favorite part (with the projecting roll):

I don’t think this sign in Mobile, AL was all that old – but I can’t resist a giant shoe or boot.  This is at the Mobile Shoe Hospital:

An interesting castle-y building in Mobile.  Can anyone chime in with what was originally here?

Another one from Mobile.  Cute as hell — and my favorite color:

Finally, around 7pm in Dothan, AL, the sun came out.  This dreary abandoned gas station was made cheery by the near-sunset reflecting on it:

OK – moving on to today.  I was close enough to the GA border to justify a quick trip over to Columbus and Pine Mountain.  I assume this is not the original sign (channel lettering) but I’m guessing that it’s a recreation of what once was here.  I’ll have to research later – unless some Columbus-ites can inform us now what the deal is:

This water fountain is also in Columbus.  Entitled “Fit for Man and Beast”, it contains three bowls at different heights for humans, horses and dogs:

More Columbus.  The name “Sputnik” sent me into a quick U-turn.  Not much Sputnik-y about it though except for the doo-hickey about the “i”.  Still, I shot it because I liked the painted darts and beer can and just the general mix of the colors of brick & paint.

I’ve been studying A-frame restaurants for some time and this one has me stumped.  Maybe it never was a restaurant.  But I think it’s too big to be one of the chains.  Columbus-ers, can you help with this one?

Back across the border, here’s a sampling from Roanoke, AL.   I guess the mural helps the situation.  Maybe.

This place next door is still open.  I hope those vitrolite tiles can hang in there til the economic stimulus reaches Roanoke and the missing ones can be replaced:

This was some sort of weird complex of police buildings.  There were maybe four of these things:

It was hard to tell if this garage was still in business.  But I liked how the blue and white matched the sky. 

After shooting in yesterday’s deluge – I just wanted to shoot anything.  How about some weeds?  Well, that’s probably what they are — but to me they were interesting, pretty flowers.  My botanist pals out there – can you identify these for us?

And the weather just got nicer and nicer as the day went on.  The right light and clouds can make a pile of poop look pretty.  Well, almost.  Here’s an adorable sign in Montgomery.

The dogs were digging the sunny interior as well.  Here’s Grem also soaking up the heat from her very tolerant pal:

A couple shots from Montgomery.  Note to self:  splurge on a telephoto for the August Midwest trip.

This one had shade on both sides but I shot it anyway.  I’m in favor of this never being “restored”:

And last one for the day.  I had never been to Selma before and thought it was really great and interesting.  Cast iron balconies and interesting buildings & signs.  This sign fairly modern but I thought it was very clever.  Perched way high so you wouldn’t mistake it for a real stoplight — and also about twice as big as the real thing.  But still, drivers are so programmed to look at stoplights, how could you miss this thing?

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