Ernest Tubb Record Shop

This black and white image of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop was taken from Nashville’s busy Broadway Street. The store (and it’s fabulous sign) is a landmark and something I love to look for when I’m in town.

Founded by Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb in 1947, it feels a bit like a country music time capsule.

They sell music, books and memorabilia. Plus, the service is good and they’re always happy to chat. Go support them if you’re in town.

A Smashed Peep (and some other stuff)

I ran away for a long lunch Thursday. Basking in the sunshine and walking the bike path at a favorite park felt like the epitome of freedom. Everything is COVID closed but you can still walk and drive around the lake.

This car turned my head.

And I went back for a closer look at these Peep bunnies, clearly run over by something. That’s not something you see every day and I liked the pink against the asphalt!

It was gorgeous out so I was sad to go home and resume working. But opening the window in the room where I work to let Scout enjoy the fresh air made the afternoon pass quickly. This picture was taken before the window was open but you get the idea.

He was a happy boy and I was thrilled for the fresh breeze and chatter of birds nearby.

My world has become very small and familiar. While this isn’t ideal, it is sort of fun to look more closely at your surroundings and seek out the details you might not ordinarily appreciate or even notice as close as your own home. Take a look around. You never know what you might find.

Push Hard

I am drawn to specific things – doors, old churches, vintage signs, weird architectural details, and informal signs.

This one made me laugh.

You’ll find it in downtown Douglas, Wyoming. You can read more about Douglas if you’re interested.

First there was the cool exhibit of Vintage trains.

Douglas looks like a modern Wild West town and I really liked it there.

And then there was the most unique church I’ve ever seen.

Not to mention the rainbow we saw after failing to climb the mountain.

And more about that trip.

Half the fun of traveling is reminiscing about the place we’ve been!

Wall Drug

If you’ve ever traveled I-90 through South Dakota, you’ve no doubt noticed signs for Wall Drug. That’s because they are everywhere.  The Burma Shave style signs entice weary travelers into their palace of extravagance – food, entertainment and shopping for as far as they eye can see!

After a quiet morning exploring the Badlands, neither of us were prepared for the circus that awaited us at Wall Drug. Well, actually, my pal Johnna was because she had been there before. She warned me that it would be awful but I wanted to see for myself.

I am glad that we went and now can say I’ve been there but have no desire to ever return. There were hoardes of people everywhere – in lines, in stores, in the hallways, in the restaurants and blocking basically anything you would want to see. There were lots of opportunities to buy and eat as well as free photo ops.

We found a quiet corner in one of the dining rooms and the veggie burger wasn’t bad. The aggressively marketed Wall Drug has a long and storied past. It started out as your average drug store that was struggling to survive. One hot summer the owners began advertising to the automobile passengers along the highway that they would find free ice water at Wall Drug. What began as a clever way to bring in potential customers has ballooned into a multi building complex that pulls in scores of visitors every year.

By the way, don’t order water if you’re truly thirsty. I would have paid anything they wanted for a large glass of ice water but their free water is tiny – like the little cup they give you to swish with at the dentist.

The history buff in me loves their story. The introvert in me would rather not spend a lot of time there. But if you don’t mind crowds and are looking for some family friendly fun in South Dakota, I say go give it a shot. And honestly, it’s the kind of thing that roadies should see at least once.

Want to learn more? Click here to read their story!

The Jerrie Mock Story

On this day in 1964 an Ohio woman set out to make history. Her name was Jerrie Mock and her goal was to be the first woman to fly solo around the world.

You likely think this record was set by Amelia Earhart but you would be wrong. It was an Ohioan, a housewife who wanted to do something important who set this record.

She departed Columbus in a single engine Cessna 180 that she christened the “Spirit of Columbus.” It took 29 days to cover the nearly than 23,000 miles, besting a California woman who was simultaneously attempting the same feat.

I had heard Jerrie’s story before but recently read a book about her. In fact, it’s the only book about her in print today. The only other book I know of is something Jerrie wrote about the journey that has been out of print for decades.

This particular book is a biography for young readers and it’s well done but it’s a biography for young readers, for crying out loud.

There have been shelves of books written about male aviators. The only female aviator to get much attention at all is Amelia Earhart and most of what is written is centered on her disappearance and the conspiracy theories surrounding what happens.

Even Bessie Coleman who I told you about earlier this year has just a few volumes despite her trailblazing life and career.

Some documentaries about the women’s air races of the twenties and work done about the WASPs of World War II have shown a fresh light on womens’ contributions to aviation but it seems like we can do better.

Jerrie Mock sounds like a real character and like my kind of gal. She struggled mentally to keep her schedule because she wanted to sightsee in the exotic places where she stopped!

I would be the same way, likely deciding halfway through to sacrifice the record for cultural enrichment and photo ops.

She set several records during her aviation career and received countless honors but her accomplishments have very much been lost to time. Instead of being a household name like Amelia Earhart or Charles Lindbergh, she’s a novelty. A trivia question.

And that’s a darn shame.

If you’re interested, her plane is on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. If you can’t make it there, I hope you’ll at least read the book and tell her story to others as a way to honor this woman.

Anyone Else?

Anyone else geek out when they see a vintage car on the street? I was visiting a museum on this Winchester, Virginia street when I spotted this car. There was an Australian with a giant camera photographing it as well and we agreed that it was a real gem even though the car needs some work.

I hope that I will always stop and admire vintage cars as they travel through a world that increasingly values the new over the old, the trendy over the classics, and the perfect over the quaintly flawed.

Details

Details are important to me. Things that have interesting shapes and colors are pleasing to the eye and often provoke thought or allow the imagination to run wild.

Here are some details from the 1950s exhibit last week.

Look at those colors! The shapes! The Atomic style is just a lot of fun!

Given how much advertising I see on a daily basis, it’s surprising this increase isn’t more substantial. Although this was from eight years ago so it certainly is drastically more today.

From the front end of a 1957 Chevy Bellaire.

Check out that unusual rusty color. And the headlights! Oh my!

I’ve never quite understood the purpose of a mirror on a cigarette machine but it’s a great place for yours truly to get a selfie. Really- is it so you can see how cool you look with your pack of smokes? Maybe it’s so you can see who is coming up behind you, especially important for spies and for anyone trying to keep tabs on a potential mate in a crowd!

And finally, I never walk past a radio without taking a picture. This one sits atop the fridge in the Lustron kitchen.

What details do you enjoy? Or maybe you’re a big picture kind of person? Tell me!