Kirchenschiff von monsieur menschenleer
My car breathed a sigh of
relief as the mountains eroded away to hills and finally to back to the
flat-lands that it’s accustomed to. My car radio drifted in and out of
reception with some low-voiced man talking about the plight of man and
the second coming of Jesus Christ. “Any day now,” he proudly exclaimed
and forewarned. “The nonbelievers will have their day of reckoning.
All the beautiful Christians will float away to a paradise above and the
world will be left to the devices of all those degenerate sinners.” I
was just as excited at the prospect as he was. The world would be a
whole lot more fun, I reasoned, without them. So come on, baby Jesus.
Do your thing. Come on down and take them away.
The roadside was
littered with police tearing into stranger’s cars and ruining days.
Every mile or two and you could see the headlights, the people sitting
on their hoods, and state cops neck deep in boxes and suitcases. Some
were likely guilty, some probably weren’t, but it made me so
unimaginably uncomfortable. I hate seeing things like that. And even
though I had no reason to worry or any drugs on my person, I still kept a
very close eye on my speedometer as we inched our way through
Arkansas. This was made all the more apparent as we came across a man
in a Lexus getting his car rifled through. He looked like a consummate
professional; hair perfectly quaffed and wearing a suit that looked like
it cost more than my car. The police were unwavering in their pursuit
and weren’t casting judgments upon whose vehicles they decided to
search. There was no judgment. You could look like me and expect to
get searched and you could look like that guy and expect the same
thing. Philosophically, I found this to be relieving in a strange way
but I didn’t appreciate it as much in practice. It just made me
paranoid. I didn’t inch my way through Arkansas above 65 MPH the entire
We arrived in Texas a few hours later and it was a
welcomed relief. The air warmed and the sun came out to blot all the
state pride in the form of flags and slogans. We arrived at our
destination, a small suburb of Dallas called Fairview, by sunset and
slept well that night.
I’m not having much luck finding things to
photograph down here in developed USA, but I’m enjoying that southern
breeze. It’s something magical to feel a seventy-five degree gust of
air at the tail end of December. It was a perfect contrast to the
housing districts and business centers. I feel slightly out of my
element here, but I’m appreciative for the experience either way. In
truth, I’ve done quite a bit of videography since arriving here, but I
haven’t taken a single photo. There just isn’t anything that’s catching
my interest. And that should have been expected in a city that’s
experienced such explosive growth over the last couple decades. But it
never did occur to me that way. I always naturally assume that all of
America has these abandoned gems if you look for them. As it is
presently, I’ve learned that that is not always necessarily the case.
Sometimes, it’s all about the right now. If it’s abandoned, it’s
destroyed. The land is too valuable. The streets are paved real nice.
Everybody has perfect teeth.
New Orleans is next on the list. Once upon a time I lived there, so I know exactly what to expect. I know there
are gems there. And the trip winds down from there. I’m experiencing a
degree of loss as the days accumulate and the funds deplete. Each day
marks a day closer to the end, and that end is in sight, too, coming up
real close. In a couple weeks I will be back in the cold wastelands of
the midwest. I will be opening gifts with my family and there will be
snow and it will be cold and I will miss this time dearly. Forever
thankful for the experience, plotting and scheming ways to get back to
it and do it all over.
If I could just do this kind of stuff for
the rest of my life, I could find happiness. My heart is in the places
I’ve never been. We play hide-and-seek and sometimes, if I look hard
enough, I find it.
My heart sure as hell ain’t in the snow. It isn’t hiding there.
“Dogpatch USA was profitable in its first few years, and Odom expanded
the park’s amenities. By the 1970 opening day, a motel consisting of 60
mobile-home units had been completed, and a funicular to carry guests from the parking lot to the park entrance was a few weeks away from completion.
In 1971, Odom, who foresaw unlimited potential for the park, bought out
most of the remaining investors for $700,000 and became, essentially,
the owner. Several new attractions were added in time for the 1972
season opening, including an “Animal World” section with a sea lion
exhibit and an aviary with exotic birds, a children’s water ride, and,
as stated by the Harrison Daily Times, a “unique boat train ride.
Success seemed to be on the horizon for Odom and Dogpatch USA, but the
many unforeseen events of the 1970s cast a dark shadow on Odom’s dreams.
Attendance figures throughout that decade were woefully short of
expectations. In 1973, interest rates began to skyrocket, and a
nationwide energy crisis kept many tourists home. In a bout of cancellations nicknamed the Rural purge, American television networks eliminated many shows with country themes, and the popularity of hillbillies waned. The Li’l Abner restaurant chain was never built. The proposed Li’l
Abner TV series was never made; a pilot was produced and premiered as a
television special on ABC-TV, but it received poor reviews and no
network purchased the series.”
Who else is ready for this trip to get started?! Check out the Vaguely Ominous series thus far!
E01 – What Will Stick??
E02 – Trespassing
E03 – The Hoarder House
E04 – This Stuff Is Dangerous (Sometimes)
E05 – Mission Statement
E06 – My First 4K Adventure
E07 – The Countdown Begins!
E08 – Misery In Missouri
E09 – I Was (Unintentionally) Super Messed Up
E10 – The Mecca In Missouri