Day 5: No Blue!

Well, they were wrong, again.  Around noon, the clouds rolled in for good.  Some sprinkles in the afternoon that made me think about packing it in, finding a motel, and sleeping for about 12 hours.  But I toughed it out.  I convinced myself that I’m out here as a documenter not an art photographer.  I need to record what’s still here since half of it might be gone by the next trip.  So, I continued, taking more photos than any other day of the trip so far.  Grey ones.  A depressing amount of “reshoot in sun” notes on my list from today.

Running behind schedule.  Maybe two days already.  Some of it the mechanical issues, some of it overindulging the dogs in grassy fields and water sources, and some just the normal traffic and stuff always taking longer than you think.  More than likely some of the Minnesota stops will get skipped.  There is a Wyoming, Montana, etc. trip in the future — 2013 or 2014?  So what I have to blow off in MN could be done then.  Much as it kills me to wait.  If only I had chosen a profitable career path so that I could retire soon and travel without the deadlines of getting back to work.  Next lifetime.

Let’s start off with a shot of “the kids”.  They look so serious don’t they?  They’re staring at their new favorite treat:  Speedway gas station sausage.  You know, the kind that spins on those metal pipes all day long.  This is the Big Boy in Livonia — with, left to right, Grem, Grip, Fix & Nik:


This sign is also in Livonia — with a repurposed Dairy Queen barn-style building:

Officially in Detroit — but way, way west:


This car wash is next door:


Also officially Detroit — and still open:

Southfield is chock full of fun mid-century buildings.  I can’t speak for residential buildings since I’m so into businesses, churches & such.  But there must be some houses around there somewhere.  Here are a few office buildings:

In Ferndale — place was hopping:


Moving on to Detroit.  Have you noticed that the photos are getting greyer?  This one nearly a black & white photo.


Maybe Gillis originally… maybe not:


Some of these gigantic buildings in Detroit hit you on so many levels:  the sadness of their condition, the miraculousness of their survival, their beauty in both their decrepitude and how they must have been way back when, the mysteries of their histories…  Sorry getting late here and the gloomy day has me wistful.  Poking around on-line, it appears this was originally a Federal Department Store, later a Mammoth Mart:

A neat hand-painted sign.  I love the contrast of the perky ad with the deteriorating building:

Last two for the night from Allen Park.  Surely, this one would be better in sun — but you gotta work with what you got.



These Martinizing Cleaners “skeleton” signs were mass-produced — as were the company’s neon signs.  Here’s another one in Pittsburgh:

Pouring out right now — and tomorrow, 80% chance of rain.  Friday’s forecast doesn’t look much better.  But the weekend looks nice.  I’m not betting money on any of it.  Maybe I should just go play in Wisconsin right now if it’s any better there and come back here later.

7 thoughts on “Day 5: No Blue!

  1. Debra Jane,
    Lots to like of what you shot shot so far. Love the signs with working neon that leave them on in the daytime too.Nice of them.

    Keeping fingers crossed your dreaded dashboard light won’t appear again & maybe that will be IT for any mechanical crud.

    Happy you had some sweeties for yourself & the kids.

    Keep shooting, blue skies or not.

    Have a good time on your date Thursday night. Looking forward to hearing about it.

    Peace out.

    • Sparkle’s willing (no lights) and we’re all rested and ready. But the rain is just absolutely torrential. Can’t shoot a thing. The forecast might be right this time. At least there are margaritas in my immediate future.

  2. really like that BW Gillis Realty sign, such a nice look to it. I’m also liking that Martinizing sign. There are still a couple of them operating in Toronto. I’ll have to shoot them before they’re gone.

    I’m leaving for Calgary via the US Friday.. I’m going ‘under’ the Great Lakes for this one via MI, IL, MN then coming back across the top on the return run.

    If I pass you, I’ll wave ;D

    • Yes — shoot those Martinizing signs when you see them. I’m stuck here in Allen Park (near Detroit) all day it looks like. Torrential rain all night and continues this morning. Can’t shoot a thing. Tomorrow predicted to be the same. Bummed. Hope you have better weather.

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