Continuing Amboy… After we ventured through the old school yard, Miko took me on a guided tour of the abandon buildings and long forgotten motel rooms left to the weather, the tumbleweeds and the vagrants. I loved it all… the cracked and faded colors, the scattered, forlorn furniture, the broken windows with tattered curtains… someone’s posessions left behind…
Archive for May, 2007
When driving along Route 66 you can’t help but notice the strange looking “shoe trees”… unknown people who tie their shoes to a tree… sometimes with their name or some wish written on them. While some are placed by the locals, the tourists passing through have also gotten into the act and there’s quite an assortment of hanging shoes…
This custom is reminiscent of the “rag-trees” of the Middle-East, which are sacred trees in which people place rags or bits of clothing for various purposes, including healing, prayers, pacifying the tree’s spirit, pacifying ancestral spirits, as votive offerings, asking for the tree’s help, and such.
Whatever the reason, stop by the roadside and check them out… it’s worth a look.
Pack and ready with Micheal (my equipment carrier, driver and husband) we started Route 66 from Needles, California heading towards the Pacific Ocean in the Mangie Wrangie (big red jeep). We passed through small, deserted looking towns like Essex, Danby and Cadiz where there’s nothing too exciting unless you have a passion for lizards.
Then we came across the town I enjoyed the most called Amboy. Now this place, it has character… The entire town was purchased by a man from Japan for a bargain basement price. It’s somewhere between 350 and 450 acres and he rents it out to the movie studios. Kalifornia was shot there, most notibly… but I was there for the photo ops.
The place to stop is at the big Roy’s cafe sign. We met a guy named Larry that works for the owner and he was very kind to let me wander through various abandon buildings. He told me to take his dog… Miko… and she turned out to be the highlight of my whole trip as well as a gracious model and the best guide ever. We made a rare connection and parted as great friends.
My first stop was the old school. It was extremely dark in the buildings and I have night blindness…which Miko seemed to acknowledge and understand. Each time I got stuck, she was there to guide me through the darkness and out various halls to a doorway. Never once was I frightened because I felt she would instinctively protect me.
So… I left Micheal, Larry and a friendly truckdriver watching the tele and headed out to the great unknown. The following photos are from the old Amboy school. Meet Miko… my guide dog and newest friend.
Before I begin, I would like to send my appreciation to all of you that sent cards (both direct and indirectly), phone calls, text messages and emails to me this weekend. It humbles me to know how many people really care about me. I am very blessed.
Now, on to Route 66…I chose this trip in honor of my Father who loved to watch Huell Howser on PBS and travel to any of Huell’s destination’s possible…one episode showing some of the sites along Route 66. I will tell you, being from “The OC”, the no-traffic was great!
Route 66 travels from Chicago, first connecting the prairie capital with Los Angeles in 1926, and ends at the Santa Monica pier. Having only a couple of days, I started in Needles (as I live in California) and stopped at the edge of Pasadena (just short of the traffic) having already traveled Colorado Blvd (Rose Parade Fame) and the beach portion many times.
My photos will at first be a general idea of the towns, the cool signs, the crumbled buildings and different things one might see traveling this road. Then I will go back and assemble photos to show you the small towns in order of the driving experience. I’m an old story teller so I must include some little antidotes along with the photos as we proceed down the road…to Route 66.
Took a road trip to heal my head and heart.. an old one you might have heard of called Route 66. Met so many wonderful, kind folks, some quite quirky… just the way I like em’. There are so many great old buildings left… with terrific, funky signs rusting away. Many Pics to come… I’m now searching through 2000 plus. This is one of my favorites. Meet Jackson, just one of my dog models.
Last night while sitting in the living room with my family, a debate began over the politics of the world. My niece and my sister, both loving, generous individuals who come out of the same family had views so drastically different, I began to think about what I had heard as I drove home. I prefer to stay out of politics because no one on this earth has the same opinion on things as simple as which laundry detergent to use, let alone the state of our country.
I listened to both sides and I came up with this evaluation for myself.
I know that most of the citizens of this country will never visit a third world country unless they were actually born in one and migrated here to get way from it for a better life.
I know that most people’s opinions of the world are formed by what they are told by their teachers, televisions, newspapers or their favorite authors.
I know that no matter how much a person tries to be a mediator, as a human being they will still have an opinion and be guided by it. No one can say they are not prejudiced in some way by their upbringing, their religion, their jobs, their surroundings and personal experiences with the world around them.
There are things that I know for certain because I have seen them with my own two eyes and everything else… I do not know and cannot have an informed opinion on. I know I do not believe the news because of 3 things I experienced first hand.
1) At 17, I attended a debate at city hall over the city wide spraying of melathion by helicopter to eliminate a fruit fly… I sat in the audience and stayed until the end. I witnessed a very outspoken yet orderly, educated group of people talking about their concerns. It was reported the next day by the newspaper that a group of rebellious people gather to wreak havoc upon the city just short of a riot.
This was my first experience with “unbiased truth”
2) The second was while watching the Olympics the year a bomb went off, hurting several spectators. A Security guard “seen ingaged in suspicious activity” was rounded up and tried on National television before the facts were in hand. He was later to be released with his name and face slandered before the entire country. And he is in a long line of accused, innocent people.
3) The last was a well known southern Republican Senator accused of being a racist who was so blasted in the news that he had to step down from his position. Of course, not being political, I didn’t have a clue who he was at the time.
Not 6 months prior, I had been in DC and watched this man come out of the Capital to meet an entire group of American singers from every ethnicity know to mankind, flown in to sings patriotic songs on the steps of the Capital on national TV after 9/11. He moved through the crowd, shook hands with absolutely everyone, sang several tunes in the warm up, offered funny stories, hugged many and showed me, as a bystander and yankee, what true southern hospitality is. Only seconds before the camera was rolling did the Democratic Senator come out and stand with the group to sing. When the cameras stopped, he left within two minutes. The First Senator stayed for an additional hour, moving through the crowd for one last pat on the back. He was later accused of making a racially motivated statement made at a retirement party. He himself shortly retired in disgrace, a bigot and an outcast, all his years of service negated. I can tell you that the person I saw that day was either an Oscar winning actor or someone’s future target laying in wait for that stupid remark we all say one day and wish we could forget.
The moral to all of this is we know nothing. We have opinions. We do not stand in the shoes of the leaders that we choose to make the decisions for us. I don’t even know what the people in my own company do on a daily basis to get jobs done to complete schedules I make, let alone what my Mayor is doing for my city. My motto is “I am only as good as the information I’m given”. Each person has somebody below them and the hierarchy is so high that decisions can and are made by the uninformed, the prejudice and even just plain stupid people. We choose them by vote and we can toss them out on their ass too because our Democracy allows us to. But no one can know everything that goes on. It’s all too much information to absorb and control.
After years of living, I do know theses few things with absolute certainty:
You cannot make people love and respect you if they don’t
You cannot escape wrinkles and aging
You will see people you love suffer
You cannot save the world single handedly
Even with the best of intentions, there are those that will misunderstand you
You will die no matter how well you lived
You are the only one that can make yourself truly happy
And people will always disagree….