RSS

Tag Archives: back roads

Jerry’s Catfish House–Florence, MS

The address is 3326 US 49, Florence, MS 39073. We weren’t looking for the address nor were we looking for a catfish dinner. It was too early for lunch anyway. When you travel northbound on US 49 it’s likely you’ll see this and some other interesting spots for whatever it is people do south of Jackson, Mississippi. There are some great treasures along the way.

When an unusual formation is seen along a route created to gather people for the purpose of consumption of good southern down home meals, I’ll stop to gather information and if time allows, an order of their “special”.

As you can see in the picture, Jerry’s was closed. It was an hour or two before noon. We pulled up to the front door curious to know if was not closed down and left to weather aware. It wasn’t. After a little bit of online research I learned Jerry’s has been around 10 years or more. I found some reviews from 2009. And after a bit of good reading, I wish my passenger and I would have spent some time in Florence shopping at garden centers and then tracing back down the 49 to the corner of Eagle Post Road once it opened. You can’t miss it. It looks like an igloo.

Oh, there is some good reading on the outside of the front door: The Ten Commandments. God is love.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 12, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Picher Mining Field Museum

Paging back through pictures I took over the last decade, I often return to those I took when traveling to Illinois on the back roads of back roads. Roads with names and towns with a stirring history. I’ve written about Picher before in this blog sometime ago. I’m not sure when but it’s far back in this old blog.

This image below of the Picher Mining Museum was shot July 26, 2011. I was headed from Texas to Illinois and wanted to go to Baxter Springs, KS to shoot some Route 66 landmarks. There are easier and quicker ways to get to Galena, but I hadn’t been on this road before, this road that passes through Picher. In fact, I randomly exited the Will Rogers Turnpike at Miami. Maybe it was lunch time. I don’t remember. I did have a baby in my car and I expect it was necessary to get out and stretch, make necessary changes. As I drove north, the landscape was pretty much the same but suddenly changed when I found mounds of what appeared to be sand. I had no idea what was ahead at the time. And there empty and abandoned structures sat along the road.

I slowed and took a few shots of outside. No one was around and I parked in middle of road, got out took some snaps and was overcome by a feeling of vacancy. After driving around what I discovered was an ghost town, I found the Picher Mining Museum.

In previous post, I didn’t do much research on the museum. It was simply a picture and drive-by documentation. However, much time has passed and being curious, I did some googling. Back in 2007 The Joplin Globe published and article,

“Buyout closing Picher’s museum; Baxter Springs new home for history of mining field.”

https://www.joplinglobe.com/archives/buyout-closing-picher-s-museum-baxter-springs-new-home-for-history-of-mining-field/article_6336a268-a7fe-5208-a99b-6cef7d3932f0.html

Relieved that the collection was moved to  Pittsburg State University and Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum, I was saddened to learn that in April of 2015 and arsonist destroyed the former Picher Museum.

I don’t make trips as before to Illinois or through any part of this country so I can’t say I’ll be driving again through Baxter Springs, Galena, or Joplin. Now that Covid is better controlled I may make another trip to Illinois and take the scenic route once again to see what’s left. But I did go back through there a few years later and bull dozers were leveling much of what was left.

If you are from Picher area, or have any stories of the area, please share in the comments below.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 4, 2021 in Oklahoma, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Olney, TX

It was raining while I was driving through. At the time I took this picture, though, it had dried up some, but the sky was cloudy and cast a dull shadow across the town. I’ve been through Olney before and it’s one of those towns that, again, is off the beaten path.

It’s been more than ten years ago, but I think there is an “Olney, TX” post on this very blog with an image of an arena. That arena is gone. This is why it’s important to take pictures. When I first came on to town from the East side, I was looking for that arena and didn’t see it. Surely I had the right town. It’s been a long time. Get to church. So what if you don’t go to the Baptist church. There’s another down the street. God is Love. Open your Bible and pray. Perhaps due to Covid there is too high of risk or the church is restricting attendance. Ask if they have an online service.

I like taking pictures of churches. Most of the buildings I photograph are the Methodist churches. It doesn’t matter. I drive by any church and pray. I see the image sometime later and am reminded to pray for that congregation, that preacher, no matter who is there.

About that arena. Who has the story?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 4, 2021 in small towns, Texas

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Collinsville, TX

It’s where my hair dresser used to cut hair a decade and half ago. She worked in the salon down there on the end on the right side in the first picture. It’s the two story gray building. She was the only one in town, several towns who cut my hair just right and then she retired from clippin’ hair. I’ve always wondered where she ended up. Her name was Cindy. Once in a while (pre-covid), my son and I come down here to Pirate Island for a slice of pizza. The food is/was good but if going at meal time we often waited a while. And this is no significant review of the restaurant. In these small towns where everyone knows everyone else and you aren’t in that mix, you may have to wait quite a bit longer for the servers to chat with the customers who they all know before they get to your table. More than once. But I’ll go back, probably order by phone first if they are still open. This Covid-19 pandemic has changed up business. Next door to the pizza place is Manuelito’s Mexican Restaurant. Fabulous little place and gets busy especially on Sunday’s after church. They are my break from Hacienda, in Whitesboro, who also has a great menu and delicious meals, but when that’s the only place in town, you look for something slightly different and Manuelito’s does not disappoint.

When I shot this picture it was in March when we were all ordered to stay in there were few people roaming the streets. The 377 was busy but it’s the main drag through this town. One can only stay in before going mad and others need to be checked on who are more at risk of colliding with the disasters of this world. There is a cross street down at the end of these string of stores, Hughes. Situated on the south side of the street have been most always a junk/thrift shop or two, an antique store, and if I recall, a small eatery. Was it donuts or catfish? You can find both around these parts. It never fails to run into a friend while browsing through the second hand items in the junk stores. I don’t know why that is but there is always someone I know dropping off or picking up collections of housewares. The things people collect.

Now that I’ve written this, I must return and travel through town to take Collinsville’s blood pressure and learn how it has survived the 2020 pandemic. We pray that businesses have survived, grown, evolved to meet the needs of the community and their citizens. We wish that for everyone. And I’ll have to grab a slice of pizza and a Coke while passing through.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 1, 2021 in small towns, Texas

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Jal, New Mexico

Photos above: 1) DC Car Wash on the corner of Main and Quay. 2) Plate steel cattle drive sculpture. (Images shot with 590 nm infrared converted Nikon)

According to Weatherunderground.com it is 54 degrees this evening in Jal NM. The temperature was about 64 degrees a couple weeks ago while I was driving through before lunch time. It’s the middle of November. Jal is one of those small towns that you could miss if you stay on the 18 going north or south and not look this way or that. The 205 and the 128 pass through but you have to stop at a stop sign at some point and you’ll know you are there. This is the Permian Basin, home to oil and gas production as seen by vast fields of oil derricks, oil storage tanks, flare pipes, and endless pump jacks. And the smell of rotten eggs

Between the creaking, humming, squeaking sounds of a pump jack and the wind, cows graze quietly in the open scrublands. The vast plains set against a blue sky is quite pleasing, really. It’s cowboy country in these parts and many ranches have invested well in both cattle and oil. I always liked this wide open peacefulness of it all.

I drove a few blocks into town and realized not much is given to the streets in Jal. Pot holes were abundant and I drove slowly to avoid the bumpiness of the ride. A middle aged Latino woman walked past with purpose carrying a cloth sack of who-knows-what. I waved at her but she did not look my way. At the end of the street on the corner across from a small church, two men were exchanging tools as one reached under the hood of his dark blue pick-up truck. I passed them and turned left. This neighborhood has not aged well.

I had not been to Jal much as a kid. We went to Eunice for play days at the arena. I’ll write about that later. My parents did not have reason to drive any further I guess and I don’t remember having any reason to be there. My dad may have driven through Jal with us in his red Ford truck once or twice on the way to Kermit or Odessa. As an adult, I’ve passed through numerous times but had not stopped to spend anytime here. Unfortunately, we are in the era of Covid-19 so when I crossed the state line I was greeted with an electronic sign that read, “All visitors must quarantine for 14 days”. I had planned only one day in Lea County.

Unfortunately corona virus hindered my plans for a visit with the librarian, an oil field worker, locals at the coffee shop. There was not much happening that morning. Many stores were closed. Allsups had the most activity, it seemed, with people pulling up to gas pumps, coming and going in and out of the store, grabbing a Coke or some snacks, a pack of cigs. I had planned on capturing some street photography to include humans and maybe a stray dog.

I saw no one downtown on Main except for a few driving their cars and one with a poodle hanging out the driver side window, tongue flapping in the wind as if it has won an all expense paid trip to the Bea Arthur Dog Park. Many of the vehicles in Jal were trucks and had Texas plates. Most work on both sides of the state line in a variety of jobs but mostly the oil fields. The largest building in Jal: The high school building. Maybe. It might be the nursing home. Then I drove past a huge metal garage housing equipment likely for that hole to be drilled west of town.

Main Street remained quiet. The wind picked up and I caught my cap in time. This did not change the smell of the petroleum, though. This car wash in the picture wasn’t open and I had not found one to wash my black beast. An empty plastic water bottle rolled and bounced across the pavement as I closed my car door. I turned up the volume and listened to David Bowie’s “Life On Mars”, turned around at the high school, said goodbye to morning and to Jal and headed north.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 21, 2020 in New Mexico

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,