Day 6: Livin’ the Life in Indiana

Loads of great stuff today: glorious sun & clouds for the photos and lots of new discoveries.  I’ve got a ton of photos for you tonight.  And lots to talk about…  so go get another cup of coffee (I understand most of you read these posts in the morning).

I realized today that last night’s post didn’t even mention the dogs.  Yes, everybody’s fine.  They’re settling into a groove and I don’t even notice the barking anymore.  My favorite time of day though is after 5pm.  That’s the time that Grippie insists they eat.  And then they all just give up for the day and snooze.  Grem doesn’t even get up for motorcycles.  And I get three hours of peaceful shooting in.  I have a feeling I won’t get these videos edited and uploaded during this trip at all — unless I get a horrible rainy day where I have to pull over and park for a few hours.  I’ll probably just upload some bits and pieces here when I get home.  That final post is always from home anyway.  Here are a couple doggie shots from today to tide you over then.

For those of you demanding more food and doggie shots — I hope this counts as a two-fer.  Fixie modeling a peanut butter & jelly donut from Marion:

Nik spends most of the day, by choice, back in his “cave” (behind the back seat).  Lots of blankies back there on top of the toy chests.  But occasionally, he pops up to survey the scene in front.  This was taken at probably 70 mph, with the camera over my shoulder.  Grip half asleep and soaking up the A/C.  Indiana farmland — lots of that today:

A former drug store in Montpelier — signs still clinging despite the changes in venue:

I’ve got a thing for signs with people — in case you hadn’t noticed.  From Marion — problematic sun here:

Much as I love mid-century modern screen-ery, this is just, well, a damned lousy job don’t you think?  I’m sure this entire building was once quite charming.

“The Elwood” motel (in Elwood) peeking out from the weeds:

I love this one from Anderson.  Usually chef signs, especially the plastic ones, use caricatures.  But Art went all out for this one and had his portrait done.  Wow!

This motel in Anderson, now the Executive Inn, must have been quite swanky in its day:

In Indianapolis — wonderful giant arrow plus itty bitty arrow.  The guys working here were mystified why I would want to photo such a thing.  But they did say that in the 1970s or so this was the Holly Oak, a bar.  And I’m betting another name and probably a restaurant or motel, before that:

This sign in Indianapolis had me wondering just what the tallest, skinniest vintage sign in the country might be.  Maybe this one is in the Top 10?

A working payphone in Indianapolis.  I checked & there was a dial tone.  25 cents seems awfully cheap to me.  Can I get bonus points for composition on this one?  OK, so it wasn’t all that planned.  The balancing red and white vehicles (Sparkle’s nose on the right) to match the pay phone.  And a scaffold sign in the distance (my Flickr friends know my fondness for them):

And followers of the blog know that I must include at least one parking sign per big trip.  This one in Indianapolis comes with a bonus neon & bulbs Subway sign.  I’ve never seen one like it before and assume it’s an adapted older sign:

A modern sign but still fun (Indianapolis):

I’m assuming this has nothing to do with the famous Waffle House chain.  The building looks nothing like their normal boxes either.  Makes me wonder how they got away with the name.  The detail on the waffle slice is worth clicking on the photo (by the way, you all do know you can view all my blog photos larger by clicking on ’em, right?):

From Whitestown.  I put the other Wrecks Inc. sign over at Flickr.  Here’s the one maybe 100 yards away which is also neat:

Let’s talk giant chickens, shall we?  I brought along the phone number for the Chicken Limo (photo posted at Flickr) so I could find out where it’s parked.  I have admired it from afar on-line for a few years and was determined to find it.  I spoke with the owner and he said it’s in a garage but that he was about to take it out for some “runs”.  I met up with him at a car wash.  He can’t take the limo actually through the car wash (too tall & not probably safe from the chicken) but he vacuums there, etc.
And for comparison, here’s what a vintage rooster statue of this type looks like:

I’ll be posting more info about the history of the Chicken Limo at my site eventually.  I also wanted to see the older chicken limo in Indy and had a vague address.  I stopped at a used car dealer and asked if they knew where it was.  Yes, but I was too late — there was a fire and it was destroyed.  I went to the antiques dealer where it was located for the full story.  While the car had been set on fire by an attention-seeking cop, the bird was fine.   A crazy story — here’s some of the news coverage:
(naturally, the news got it wrong and called the old car the Chicken Limo — not the Indy Chicken)

Here’s the old Indy Chicken car now.  It was maybe the bird’s 3rd or 4th car actually:

The chicken was a bit sooty from the fire but has now been repainted.  And will soon be installed on a new limo.  So it sounds like he will be competing with the Chicken Limo.  Is there room for two of them in town?  I’m a little worried about the competition.  Anyhow, here’s the “Indy Chicken” in the back room.  He should be installed in a couple weeks on top of his new car.

For those of you that can’t get enough chickens & roosters, I’ve got a whole bunch of them over at my site — and more chicken cars at the bottom of this page:

Moving on — at the end of the day, I was fueling up at a Marathon station and couldn’t help but notice this mini corn field growing in front of the office.  The guy working there said that the station is privately owned so the owner can do whatever he wants.  This was planted this past spring.  The corn was a little sickly.  The worker said not enough room for the roots.  But the cantaloupe (growing from the box onto the pavement) was doing great.  They tried one the other day and it was delicious.

More from Indiana tomorrow!  2am — ouch.

12 thoughts on “Day 6: Livin’ the Life in Indiana

  1. What an amazing travelogue! I can’t believe how many signs/sites you manage to hit in one day; how much of it involves pre-planning and how much serendipity in locating them? Nice job! Doug

    • For the website & the Flickr account — that stuff is about 95% preplanned. The blog stuff is just quick random grabs en route to all those other destinations. I probably shoot about 100+ places per day but I only upload about a dozen or so photos to Flickr and another dozen or so to the blog. All very organized (as you might have figured). If you’re curious, you might check out the “how to plan a roadtrip” page at my blog.

      • Would love to see more of the rusty crusty signage, also I love how they left the signs on the drugstore untouched. The motel in Anderson looks very well maintained, do you know approx. when that was built? Keep up the great work!

      • Just posted two “rusties” at tonight’s post. The Anderson motel must be 1950s/1960s. It doesn’t look that well maintained to me. Some nice original features but needs paint. If the outside looks poorly maintained, then the rooms must be pretty scary. I’m sorry to admit that I’m a Red Roof gal — these mom & pop motels scare me. Plus they don’t usually take dogs. And I like the anonymity of the chains vs. all that in your face nosy-ness of the “family” motels. After an exhausting day, I don’t want forced conversation and weirdness.

  2. Thanks for the pictures and special thanks for the extra effort that led to the chicken-limo-arson-cop story. Serious stuff but oh so funny.

    I wondered at the absence of Anderson’s Lemon Drop & Paramount from the blog entry but accurately guessed that you’d covered them previously. I found the Paramount by clicking “Movie Theaters”-“Indiana” but had no luck finding the Lemon Drop with a similar routine, “Eateries”-“Indiana”. I did find your Lemon Drop pictures with the site search so all is well. “Eateries”-“Indiana” led to the Lemonless …/eateries/indi.html while the search led to the more fruitful …/eateries/in.html. Both pages carry the title “Eateries”. Since the search works quite well, this isn’t a problem but it seem like it might not be intentional, either. Of course, I have been wrong (many many times) before.

    • It’s difficult sometimes to know where to put something. If I feel the restaurant is visually appealing or special enough, then it goes in the Eateries section. If it’s just the sign and a drab building, it goes in the signs. But sometimes, I decide to move things. Thank god that search box works 95% of the time. The other 5% has me frustrated and baffled. As for the Lemon Drop, it’s nicest feature is its signs — and I haven’t been able to determine if it ever really was a drive-in (car hops and all that). So things are tricky. This was a just a quickie trip thru Anderson — been there about 4 times before — but needed to grab a couple things — and since I was passing them Lemon Drop, why not reshoot it.

  3. I think it was worthwhile for you to get up early and shoot those beautiful neon donut shop signs. It’s almost impossible to find good working neon anymore, and who knows what next year will bring (or take away)?

    A great roadtrip so far. I don’t know how you do it, covering so many places. Girl: you got stamina! I get out of the car and walk all around these little towns, before you know it the day is over and I’ve only seen 3 little towns!

    Continued safe journeys to you and the pups.

    • I guess it’s an OCD — but in a good way. This giant stack of lists/maps keeps me pushing. Little chunks like “3 days for Illinois” have me always racing the clock. Without deadlines, I think we’re all worthless lumps of clay.

      Yes, and the fear of something disappearing before I get a chance to see / shoot it is part of what drives me. I’ve been to see a few things on this trip that were gone. The Lincoln-Mercury dealership is vacant and the giant cougar is missing. Hopefully, he/she found a home.

  4. dear lord, did you eat that donut off of Fixie’s head!?!?

    keep those dog and food pics coming! gorgeous stuff today. loving what you are shooting right now, debra jane!

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