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.

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.