Henrietta, Texas


Traveling to the Panhandle along the 82 on an early Sunday morning brings nothing but wide open space and wind, except for filled church parking lots. Even many restaurants in town are closed on this day in many of the little towns on the route. The only place I found a cold drink and snack was at the Bread and Butter Stop a couple of blocks west of C’s favorite house.

It was Henrietta that we decided for a hunt for haunts on the road to Amarillo. Just ahead on the 287 before getting to Amarillo is our story for a future blog entry. In the meantime, we strolled around the town square admiring the brick and sandstone courthouse built in 1884. According to records, a clock tower stood tall above the square on the building and later the dome replaced it. You cannot find these things out on Sunday mornings in the Bible belt for most people are preparing for church service or sleeping in recovering from a previous night of activity that they should be repentant of.

I asked a man at the Bread and Butter stop on information and directions to our next stop. Surely, he has answered this question before.

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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Wagonner Mansion, Decatur, TX


There are several good websites pertaining to the history of the Wagonner Mansion also known as El Castille so I won’t go on about it here. I saw this property October 3, 2015 with friends. It does not appear to have inhabitants, humans that is, but perhaps a few mice and mud martins. No Trespassing signs are spaced evenly along the fence. The gate was closed with a chain and padlock. The grass has been mowed but not maintained as shown in past photos. A sheet of plywood is seen on one of the front windows. I took pictures from the fence line as most people do. I’d love to go inside.

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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tatum, New Mexico


Tatum is one of those towns that you must stop at even if there is no big tourist attraction there. You cannot miss the Town and Country convenience store and gas station on the southeast corner of the 380 and Main Street.  Across is a cafe that by the number of cars parked out front at meal time determines it to be a decent eatery.  Allsups is situated on the opposite corner.  Suit yourself.

What catches the travelers attention are the many metal art signs and displays along the roads.  These ranch/cowboy cut outs are most commonly seen at the large gates to sprawling grazing pastures and ranches of the county.  Nice people live in Tatum.  Stop by for a visit.  Everyone’s got a story to tell.

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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Carlinville, Illinois


If you drive southbound on Illinois I-55 headed toward St. Louis and there are very dark clouds ahead of you at 3:30 pm and purple is apparent on your radar, it’s best to avoid it and to turn on the 108 and head west toward Carlinville.  Perhaps there are other options but this was one of my last.  But you find the most beautiful little towns on spontaneous drives.  

Macoupin County Courthouse is what you see in the image in this post.  Records show that Abraham Lincoln represented many of his clients on this property in the courthouse but not in this actual building.  Over time, a larger courthouse was needed thus resulting in The Million Dollar Courthouse.   When there is money involved in costly endeavors such as this there is no doubt going to be rumors of misappropriations, scandal, and so on. 

There is quite a story behind the walls of this gorgeous structure.   A few raindrops felt on my arm when I rolled down the window to capture this image.  I took a sip of sweet tea and turned right onto the square to head out of town. 

Remember, if you’re governor, you can get a town named after you. 


Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


Winter Likes and Dislikes


Many where I live long for the Winter months.  I’m really unsure why.  Perhaps its the enjoyment of being warm and snug inside home with family, the joy of the holidays, comfort food, hot chocolate.  I have no use for Winter but it is inevitable so I make the most of it.   I’ll share my likes and dislikes here.


1.  See the above photo taken in town after a snow/rain/pellet day.  Does that look like a lovely morning to you?  Of course not!

2.  Snow and ice.  It’s pretty to look at from the window for a few hours.

3.  Cold wind.  It’s just terrible for your complexion.

4.  Being snowed in.  Who on earth lives for that?  Not a single soul benefits from being snowed in.  There are people in need in the world and if you can’t leave your house, you cannot help them.

5.  Gray winter skies.

6.  Short days.  At least the sun is now coming up at 7 am end of January.

7.  Seasonal affect disorder.  Results from short days.

8.  The flu.

9.  Heavy winter clothes

10.  Not so many good IR photography opportunities.


1 . On clear days, the sky is a deeper blue.

2.  Orion is visible all Winter long.

3.  The geese at the wildlife refuge are abundant.

4.  A good cold frozen winter reduces many of the summers insects (for a while).

5.  Many more yellow finches at the bird feeders.

6.  Valentine’s Day.

7.  Planning for the Spring planting.

8.  Butternut squash.

9.  Comfort food.

10.  All things leather.


Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Black and White, list, Photography, Texas


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Oak Glen, CA


This is an old picture.  I’m guessing it was taken in 1999.  This was a Civil War reenactment in Oak Glen, California, the first I had ever attended.  I’d go again if the opportunity presented itself.  I shot it with a Minolta X370 50 mm lens, 200 ISO Kodachrome film.

Not much has changed over the years, friends tell me.  There remains the working apple orchard. Visitors can buy apples, make apple cider, enjoy everything apple.  It also has a variety of activities such as the Colonial Chesterfield  Civil War program, a packing shed operation, Riley’s Log Cabin Farm and Frontier Events.

Frequently these days I have considered returning to Southern California. I’ve had no desire in the past ten years although I have been back a number of times over a year while working for a company that subjected me to the Orange County freeway system.  The time of year matters for there are many things to do year round, I don’t want to miss the apple festival in Oak Glen or the way the sun dips below the San Jacinto mountains while golfing in the desert.  Palm Springs is so hot in the summer.

Yes, I think I will start planning.

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Kinmundy, Illinois


The Illinois Central Railroad Water Tower and Pump House

Every town has a story.  History.  If you think there isn’t much in Kinmundy, drive right on in and take a look around.  If you are going to cruise through this town of about 900 as a passenger and be on your mobile phone, the least you can do is log into the city webpage to find out what is there.  Don’t waste your time with meaningless texts. 

I’ve been through Kinmundy twice on way from Mt. Vernon to Decatur and I stopped both times at this water tower to call family and take a look at the map to find a road I had not been on before.  There are many.  Unfortunately I did not have time to spend here to explore Ingram’s Pioneer Log Cabin Village or drive around town.   Sadly I won’t be making these Illinois drives much in the future. 

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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


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