Abandoned Prosperity

America, for all its supposed wealth and prosperity, has many abandoned places. From natural disasters, to foreclosures, to budget cuts, to rebuilding; I've seen quite a few in my short life-time. All across this vast country people are homeless, when there are many buildings and places that could be "repurposed" to house them. This blog is all about the places I've lived and explored, over the past 47 years. It also involves other things of interest to me, which will become apparent as I continue along. Most places and events I can only remember and right now, I'm active in exploring the current state I live in, Tennessee. Follow along in my foot-steps as I clambour over and sometimes into the abandoned debris of our society...from junkyards to cellars to my own mind.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Headache

I still can't believe it. Maybe enough people complained. Nah. For years I've been running down the lower part of Crocker Nye Road. It's where I go to get my supply of spring water. Cold, refreshing...free...water. I've never met the owner of the property but, I abide by the simple sign erected (and which I fixed my last visit there), stating to keep the area clean. No problem. I do what I can. My last trip out netted me a small amount of trash, which I placed in a handy trash bag someone else had left behind...abandoned. Anyway, I was surprised to see that the town finally paved the lower part of the road and included a lay-by close to the spring. Only now I have to watch for idiots using it as a "speedway". It's rural & not really patrolled.


You'd think a place so far out in the "boonies" would attract a lot of illegal dumping. It does only not as much as it used to. Most folks that come here respect the area and keep it clean. But...there are those that just don't give a fuck. Take the mook that dumped the head over there, next to the tree. Go ahead...get a little closer...I'm sure it won't bite you...it even had me fooled for just a second, heh...


This isn't the first time I've seen dumping here and no doubt it won't be the last. Not sure who removed the head...*SIGH*

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Former Glory Gone

Somewhere in Central Oxford, MA., there used to stand a rather rundown house. I'd pass by it often enough when folks actually lived there. I'm sure the old place must've been pretty grand in its day but, it fell into disrepair over the last couple of decades. I actually remember going up to the side door and inquiring about a vehicle for sale (I didn't buy it...) I had chance to glance into the kitchen the door was off of and it looked like it hadn't been updated since the '60's or '70's. Then, earlier this year, I passed by and noticed that there were no longer any vehicles in the driveway. The remaining tenants had moved on. A couple months later I had camera at the ready and got of a few snaps of the decaying building. Glad I did, for when I passed by a week later, the place was being razed. I never got the chance to explore the interior but...maybe that was a good thing. The lot now remains empty (except for the occasional "speed trap" set-up, heh...) Sometimes it's easier (and cheaper) to tear down an older place and rebuild, than to try to rehab it. This looked like one of those times.





Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Traded and Abandoned

If anyone is out there and actually reading this, you're probably thinking that I've abandoned this here blog. Nah. It's just that some things in "real life" have a nasty habit of getting first priority. Like shopping for a new car. So I "abandoned" a few other projects and did a lot of research.


I bought the ol' 2005 Kia Rio Cinco back in 2006. It was a dealer demonstrator model with over 22,000 miles on it. Yeah, I bet they had a load of fun driving it. It had a few quirks but then, most cars do. For the first 3 years the Kia ran along good with regular maintenance. It also got me fairly decent mileage (my best being 41.8 MPG!) I paid it off a year early. Good thing I did because after that, the car started to literally fall apart; much in the way any Chevy I've ever owned has fallen apart. The clutch went, then the brakes, bearings, etc. I'm still not sure how we survived the trip out to New Mexico and back to Massachusetts (that was in April of 2009; I managed to put 4,800+ miles on the car in only nine days...) The timing belt and water pump were next...then the transmission shifter disintegrated a few months later. Then the coil pack blew out. More costly repairs. I'm sure my mechanic has a nice nest egg set aside. About the only thing I never replaced was the exhaust system and engine itself. It was referred to as "The Kia From Hell", for the last two years that I owned it.

The very last pic I took of the Kia

Early in 2012, I decided enough was enough. For what I spent in repairs that year, I could have put a good downpayment on a new car. So, I saved up and slowly rebuilt my poor credit rating. By this time, the Kia had almost 146,000 miles on it. It'd been hit three times (four, if I count the time I backed into the corner of a house...) The second clutch was starting to go and the rear wiper I never did repair (the switch burned out in 2008.) No A/C either. No power windows or locks or NAV. A bare bones car. I'm actually surprised I got anything in trade for it!

2014 Nissan Versa note

In late May of 2013, I started surfing round the 'net. I wanted something simple. I'm not one to have a bunch of tech crap shoved into the dashboard. But at the same time I wanted a few upgrades. Like A/C. I wanted a car that would return good mileage. I also wanted something affordable. With all the tech data available on-line, it's become increasingly easier to know all about a particular vehicle...unless it's brand...spankin'...new.


Meet the...I mean my 2014 Nissan Versa Note. I finally got one July 24th, 2013. Did my homework but still getting used to a few things. Like power mirrors, traction controlle, ABS, and, oh yeah, a CVT transmission. As I am (or was) a stick-shift driver, I can say that driving a car with a CVT takes a bit of getting used too. Hell, driving any kind of an automatic takes getting used to, at least for me. And this is no dealer demonstrator car. Only seven miles on the ODOM (now almost 600, heh...)


Only time will tell how good this little car (with the big interior), will perform over the next few years. I've yet to take it on a long highway cruise but, I'm averaging over 41MPG combined, at the moment. That makes things a bit easier to take at the petrol pump. And I figure if I take good care of it, I can make it last at least as long as I did the Kia, right?


Saturday, June 8, 2013

187 Greenwood Street

"I went back to Ohio...but the pretty countryside...had been paved down the middle...by the government that had no pride..."~Crissy Hynde & The Pretenders

 One of many houses along and off of Greenwood Street in Worcester, MA. that fell victim to so called "PROGRESS". Seems a certain railroad company will be using the area for a storage yard for freight containers.

Most folks here in Worcester know who's involved.

If "progress" involves slapping tarmac over yet another part of the city then, what's the point? I don't mind a bit of progress, don't get me wrong but...another fucking parking lot for freight containers? The city already has enough of those. *SIGH*

The least the company could've done was to fence in the demolition area and put up warning signs. I mean...not that any curious kids in the neighbourhood would go exploring there, right?




Being as curious as I am and always up for a little "urban exploration", I drove by on the way home and spotted one of the local F.D. trucks parked out front in the street. Figuring they may be setting something up to watch (like say...a fiery end to the old house), I got home and quickly grabbed my camera. Returning, I parked on an abandoned side street, got out and ambled over. Mind you, there was nothing and no-one stopping me from doing so. No "DANGER KEEP OUT" signs...no fences, no yellow tape, no police...nothing. I actually got to chat with one of the fire-fighters who explained they were just doing some training, nothing more. A couple weeks later the place was quickly torn down by an excavator and the lot filled in. Oh well...what's one more house off the city's tax roll? *SIGH*


Wonder if Santa stayed to the end?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Riderless

Have you ever been out for a walk and come across an abandoned article? Of course you have. It could've been an old shoe, a beer bottle, mattress, or even a pile of construction debris. Or a bicycle. What do you do when seeing it? Do you wonder how it got there? I bet some of you do. Take the bike below...who did it once belong to? How did it get into the flood-controlle canal? Who put it there and when? How long has it been in the water? Was it stolen and later ditched there? Or was it a piece of scrap that just happened to bounce off a truck as it went over the bridge? Who knows? Who cares? To some, it's just another chunk of our "disposable technology". It won't be missed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Early Abandonment

I've been fascinated with abandoned or deserted places for about as long as I can remember. Of course, when I was a kid there was a lot less electronic stuff to play with (more like...none, actually.) For me that meant either drawing or playing with my Tonka toys. Or play outside. Outside was a whole other world to a kid like me, with a hyper-active imagination. My first three years there wasn't much to do, except move around a lot. As an Air Force brat, I never stayed in any one place for too long. But around the age of four I ended up in Clovis, New Mexico. My parents never really worried too much if I went outside, as long as I stayed within the yard. As I got older, I got farther away from the back yard and further down the block. By the time I was six I was walking to school across a vacant lot with fellow class-mates. Vacant. Lot. But in 1974 I got my first real taste of abandonment. My parents filed for divorce and Pop left us. How's that for abandonment? Mom packed up my brother and I and moved to the next town over, House. (no really, that's the name of the town itself, H-O-U-S-E, House, New Mexico.) The place was a veritable "ghost town". But all those abandoned homes, barns and other places, were fodder for this kid's imagination! Wish I had had a camera back then. We only lived in House for a year or so before returning to Clovis in 1976. By that time my brother had gone to stay with my dad for good. More abandonment. Mom worked her ass off while I was in school and I usually came home to an empty house. But back then things were a lot different. By the time I was eight I could basically take care of myself. I never strayed too far from home anyway...there was just so much to explore right in my own neighbourhood. Fast forward to April of 2009. I took Mom and my battered KIA Rio Cinco across I-40 and back into Clovis. I had promised to someday take Mom back there. While there we re-visited House. Not much to see these days. Here's where I used to live (or rather, I lived in the ell extension to the right of Robinson's Grocery Store.) According to Mom, Old Man Robinson called it "quits" and packed up and left sometime in '78 or '79. But the store remains. The extension now appears to be a converted barn of some sort. Not sure what it is today. We stayed for a bit and I took a few more pics. Below Robinson's is what used to be the post office, if my fading memory serves. It was about a block away.
Robinson's Grocery Store
Former apartment space
Old Post Office?
I'm still planning another trip out West but the logistics are killer. Y'see Mom is on dialysis and I'd be in a "time-crunch" to get to Clovis before her next session (Clovis has a great dialysis facility.) It worked out just fine last time but, the 41 hour drive had me beat. And Mom generally goes every other day so, it breaks up our "exploring" time. Oh well.