Day 10: Oklahoma, Check!

It was a glorious day to be shooting — and having air conditioning.  It was at least the upper 90s at one point.  I banged through an extensive Oklahoma City list which took longer than I thought.  But it could have taken way longer had it been a weekday.  I just love weekends in major downtowns when you can make as many crazy U-turns as you want, roll the stop signs, drive down (short) one-way streets the wrong way, etc.  Hey, I don’t want to jinx myself but I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket yet.  I do have a little $25 parking ticket from Tulsa — when I had to go inside the zoo and walk what seemed like forever to get to the damned carousel.  I had parked the dogs in the shade at a meter (with the engine & AC running) for about 20 minutes.  Ah well — a small price to pay — and it was crowded with really no option.

So, yes, more sunshine — which was a real treat since last time I was in OKC, I had some crummy weather & had lots of stuff to reshoot.  Done.  Otherwise, Sparkle’s running great; the dogs are getting plenty of exercise and pond time.

Got a very late start here tonight at the computer — already 1:20am.  But it was worth the interstate hustle to Amarillo to set myself up for tomorrow morning.  Here’s the schedule for the rest of the trip.  We will be in Texas for about 4 or 5 days.  Then, I have planned about 9 days in New Mexico and 9 days in Arizona.  Then a hustle back to Cincinnati for the American Sign Museum opening (and some Cincy shooting).  Then it’s scurry back to work in NYC.

On with today’s photos.  Some good news in Chandler, OK.  Here’s how this Phillips 66 gas station looked in April of last year:

They are not only hard at work on this building — but there are signs that they might start doing something with the Valentine diner behind it.  There are green light poles or sign poles or something installed now next to it.  This gas station was already restored several years ago — but I guess it was time for more attention:



Speaking of Phillips 66 stations, here’s a little complex in Edmond built recently in the same style:



And just across the street is this bank built in 1997 — inspired by Mies van der Rohe and Bruce Goff:


Here’s a close-up of the bank’s Goff-like glass cullet window:



Moving on to Oklahoma City.  This place on I-35, the northern edge of OKC, was built in 1963 as Truckers Village (gas, food, no lodging).  Advertising claimed it was the largest truck stop in the world.  Later, it housed a few other restaurants.  More history and a photo of what the building looked like recently:

Today, the place houses the Stone & Stucco Co. — which has “updated” the buildings a bit:



Some more good gas station news — just last April, this circa 1960 gas station canopy seemed doomed:

Oh, and here’s a photo of what the station looked like originally:

Later last year, there was talk that they were updating the convenience store and probably removing the canopy.  But driving by today, obviously they have painted the canopy (well, all but the tippy top which I guess they couldn’t reach!).  I asked the clerk and he said the canopy was staying.  They are adding new below-ground gas tanks — that’s what all the police tape & plastic mesh fencing is about:



Here’s some nice modern artwork on the side of the Bradford Ink store building:



Let’s do some shopping, shall we?



This one, technically, in Warr Acres:



Back in OKC — this must be an adapted sign (and building).  Does anyone know what it was originally?  It’s lovely at night:



From what I understand, Pipkin Cameras & Imaging moved to a smaller location after this one, and has since closed for good.  It makes this building even sadder.  Love those plastic letters under the canopy and the curved brick.  Stuff like this will disappear too soon.



I’m thinking a name change is responsible for that inconsistent and drab plastic box sign on top:



Finally, moving on from OKC.  This top heavy former gas station is in El Reno, OK:



A fun one from El Reno:



Some of my loyal blog followers may remember my post from April showing this place under construction:

And this is the final result — a Shell station as part of the Cherokee Trading Post & Restaurant complex:



And after having seen the countless billboards for the place’s souvenirs, etc. for miles — I decided to give that advertised homemade pie a try.  For you all.  A choice of about six flavors — I went with the most outlandish:  peanut butter chocolate cream.  This is the first sugar I’ve had since the March WV trip’s slice o’ pie at the King Tut which was far superior.  I give this pie a B-.  It was just not rich or remarkable.  And I think cream pie should have a cream topping — not this meringue stuff.  I will give pie another shot later in the trip.  And ice cream.



As luck would have it, en route to Amarillo, I was able to catch the neon coming on at the former Conoco station in Shamrock.  This is the modern ATM machine across the street built in the same style. Note the ATM arrow sign even mimics the “U Drop Inn” sign across the street:



That’s a wrap — 2:30am.  Lots of Texas tomorrow — stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Day 10: Oklahoma, Check!

    • Yes — but that webpage is quite a few years old now. And there is no info anywhere about what’s happening with the diner now. It looked just the same yesterday as it did several years ago — only rustier.

  1. Ha! I would probably stop to take money out of the ATM just for the photo op. Glad when folks are inspired by their cool neighbors.

    And I’m quite impressed that the last time you had sugar was in WV. I could never go that long!

    • Well, I was getting a little chunky — seemed the surest fire way to deal with it. And, it’s true, I really do feel better & have more energy without it.

  2. I am excited to once again follow along on one of your adventures. I’m so happy that the sun cooperated! On your way back home, what part of Illinois are you passing through?

    • The sun has mostly been kind. Crossing fingers and toes that it will continue for AZ & NM. The further away the states are, the less chance I’ll have to reshoot.

      I’ll be heading through IN and IL very quickly on the way back home. I-70 on a beeline for Cincinnati with a couple stops off I-70 in Missouri on the way.

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