Apr 15, 2011

Can blight be beautiful?

File this under the "I love old, broken down, inanimate stuff" category. These go along with a column I have coming in the paper next week.
I've had the idea of doing a photo series of blight-ridden stuff that has been left behind by people. And this week ended up being the week I got around to it. Above is an old sign for a country dance place up in Ocean Park. I'm assuming it used to rotate in the wind, giving the illusion of a dancing couple. These days the sign is overgrown by willows, and the lady is missing her head.

See more after the jump below

When I moved here more than 8 years ago there was a gas station in the middle of town that also doubled as the home of the "Crossway Ministries," this evangelical family whose father actually ran for mayor at one point. I can't remember if the giant murals depicting the life of Jesus were there when I got here or if they came later. Within two years of my move the place closed up and I think the family moved away. To give you some insight as to just how long ago this was, the old mechanical pumps are still set at $1.69 a gallon. Anyway, over the last few years these fuel tanks have given to rust, adding a new realism.

When I drove by this old motel/apartment building I first saw the red doors. Then I saw the lacy curtains.

Now this one on the other hand is something that has bothered me since the first time I drove in to town. This small field located right along the highway is the final resting place of a several dozen disused propane tanks. More get added now and again. You can still catch a whiff of natural gas if you walk through it.

I've wondered about this place for awhile. Up in Oysterville there is a piece of property along Oysterville Rd. and this old ramshackle house sits in the middle of a pasture that is also home to old, overturned claw foot bathtubs and old cars.

And finally, this was a bit of a surprise. This is an old McCormick Farmall 230 "tricycle" tractor made in the late 1950s that I saw hidden behind some brush in Ocean Park. The bright red paint is still visually grabbing, even with the rust. I couldn't be sure, but I thought I heard a faint voice say "oil can, oil can..."



Anonymous said...

love these.

Frank Lehn and Debbie Rasmussen said...

Thank you for these. We always notice the square dancers when we pass and wonder about their history. As for the propane tank dumpsite, we cannot believe that the county powers-that-be allow such an eyesore.

Frank Lehn
Debbie Rasmussen