Tag: Pennsylvania

Two Barn Murals Around Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Two Barn Murals Around Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

When I woke up in Wilkes-Barre, my plan for the day was to swing by Williamsport to see if I could find the repaired Whispering Giant, Woapalanne. Then I would turn my wheels south to make my way to Fredericksburg, Virginia for the night, where I was volunteering to staff the 2017 Void Rally.

Though my ride south had something of a focus I did manage to stop and do some sightseeing along the way. Thanks to the triumphant return of Wendyvee to the helm of Roadside Wonders, I’d pinned a lovely fading rooster mural by Wayne Fettro to my map.

It must’ve been quite a looker when the paint was fresh. Even in its aging state, it was lovely to me.

Bridge Valley Rd, Columbia, PA – Google Maps

There are a few interesting murals around the Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania area. Miraculously, I restrained myself from gobbling up everything and instead kept heading south…. but, I did see one more since it was on the way.

This mural looked freshly painted. It replaced a Fettro “Harvest Time in the 1920s” mural. While lovely in its own right, a quick turn around the internet says not everyone was happy to see the former Fettro mural go away.

Time marches on. Keep taking pictures and writing down memories, friends.

680 Cloverleaf Rd – Elizabethtown, PA – Google Maps

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Along with dinosaurs and my favorite, the Giant Chicken Army, cows have to be one of the most abundant roadside animal statues.

I saw two more big ladies of note while road tripping in September, both in Pennsylvania.

The well-loved big cow of Wilkes-Barre. She’s just up the road from the dilapidated big coffee mug.

This big mama stands outside of the Turkey Hill Experience.

A fine roadside specimen. Plus, there is gas and ice cream right there. But I suppose if you’re lactose intolerant, those two things may always be together. ::ba-dum-dum-tsss:: Try the veal! Ooooh, awkwaaaaard…

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but, why, why, why do they have to make those milkbags so veiny?! GROSS!

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

While puttering around the house on this rainy morning, the notion of posting some of the photos from my most recent road trip flittered in and out of my thoughts. That idea was swirled between the need to do laundry, buy dog food and have another cup of coffee.

Needing to buy dog food. Now, there is an unquestionable purpose and benefit. The dog has to eat and you have to feed it. The result is a happy dog and a happy person. The same can’t be said about sharing the dumb stuff I take pictures of while I’m out riding my motorcycle. There isn’t a direct need nor benefit.

What’s this thing, this compulsion to document and share? What purpose does taking a picture of a giant lobster and then showing you serve? None, really. And yet, it’s like an automatic behavior. At least the picture snapping part, as evidenced by the thousands of oddball photos on my iPhone.

This morning, I read an article in The Economist’s 1843 magazine: Japan’s pioneering street photographer about Daidō Moriyama. This quote, in particular, stayed with me:

He still prowls cities at the age of 79, although he now prefers to use a compact digital camera, snapping unobtrusively from waist-level. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them,” he says.

It got me thinking about all of the things I like to take photos of – the whimsical, the artful, the goofball, the nostalgic and fading moments of our continuously hardening society. When people say to me, “you find the craziest things,” with regard to the 5-foot lobsters of life, it seems strange to me. Those things are right there all the time! Why don’t some people see them?

I suppose that while some of us are focused on buying dog food, our antennas just don’t pick up on those other signals. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them.”

Maybe my riding and photo-snapping is a gentle reminder to myself to try to remember to see. See the things that make me smile, make me laugh, that keep youthful feelings in my heart.

Vintage Signs Actually Worth Writing Home About – Plymouth, Pennsylvania

Vintage Signs Actually Worth Writing Home About – Plymouth, Pennsylvania

Leaving Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Friday morning, I decided to follow Route 11 west for a while. Busy but not too busy two-laners that pass through towns long past their prime are where you can spot some of the aging Americana that I love so much. The riding isn’t so hot, but the gems that cling to life tucked within the folds of a city are often something to write home about. A fading Main Street can hold many old secrets.

When I saw the facade of the Max L. Fainberg & Son furniture store in the town of Plymouth, I pulled a quick u-turn to get a better look. It was like being transported into a Wes Anderson movie.

Gorgeous, right? Looking at it gives me a strange melancholic yet nostalgic tickle inside.

You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.

– The Grand Budapest Hotel

Hang in there, Fainberg’s.

Whispering Giants: Chief Woapalanne of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Whispering Giants: Chief Woapalanne of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Last week I stopped in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania to see the Whispering Giant, Chief Woapalanne. Though he was taken out of commission from his original perch in the summer of 2015 due to rot, a rescue effort was mounted and the Giant was restored. Following a tweet from the Taber Museum, I knew he was there somewhere at the bus station.

The bus terminal does not allow car traffic to pass through, so I couldn’t even get a good look at the Google Maps Streetview to try to zero in on just where it might be located. I didn’t know if he was outside or placed inside the terminal somewhere.

After circling the block 3 or 4 times with nothing to show for it, I pulled into the municipal parking lot figuring I’d have to walk inside the bus terminal. As I pulled into a parking space, I saw the Chief’s feathers rising up from the corner of the terminal.

Whispering Giant Chief Woapalanne lives!

If you click the image below, you’ll see a full-sized pic in which you can read about the Giant’s restoration process. The most noticeable changes are that he was shortened by three feet, removing the rotten base and he is now wearing a dark stain. He is lovely.

It warms my heart to think that people cared enough to save this Giant.

If you’re interested in visiting him, the parking area on William and W. Willow will give you easy access. Looking on Google Maps, this would be the location of the statue.

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