Thursday, July 10, 2008

Scenes from rural Oklahoma

Due to the holiday weekend (and my own laziness) I didn't update the last Thursday or Monday. To make up for it, here's a huge post of cool stuff. I got a new 35mm camera that can use all of my Canon lenses (an EOS 3), so I shot a few rolls of slide film (Provia 100f) through it.

Over the weekend, Caitlin and I went up to meet my family at the lake. Our house is near a town called Zena... the town itself consists of a church, an abandoned store and a similarly vacant gas station. There's literally nothing there. There are, however, plenty of trees.

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This was just the first part of the most eventful walk I've ever had up at the lake. People pretty much just throw their trash everywhere... there's even a large pile of various random trash right next to a "No Dumping" sign.

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This puppy craves attention. She belongs to a local farmer who used to raise fighting cocks before the State banned cockfighting. Now, they raise goats (I think?). Anyway. This and another dog followed Caitlin and me throughout our walk. After getting about halfway back to my house, we saw that the puppy had raw, nearly bleeding skin on its paws from the hot pavement. Seeing as this alarmed both of us, I ran back to the house and grabbed our ATV while Caitlin stayed with the dog. We eventually took them back to their house and drove off.

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These were everywhere. The vibrant yellows really drive home the point that this is finally summer.

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If you were ever curious what 90% of the midwest looks like, here you go. This was taken on a highway between Grove and Miami (pronounced My-am-uh). As boring as it looks, this is often my absolute favorite scenery, if only because of its familiarity.

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After going down highway 59, we intersected Route 66 outside of Afton. This car was part of a huge lot of classic cars in various states of disarray and rust just on the side of 66. Some of them looked recoverable, but most looked like the typical Oklahoma classic car: outside on blocks and rusted over. Kind of a shame.

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This was one of the ones in better shape.

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When we got to Afton, I stumbled around the downtown area's many burnt and abandoned buildings. This place was likely some kind of school in the past. The building looked like a disaster scene, but with elements of the surreal. This random overturned desk wasn't the only odd part of the two-story wreck; in the next room over there was a huge swastika spray-painted on the wall. Scary, for a town with only 1,100 residents.

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I found the single most interesting place in the town after climbing through a broken window into what used to be a TV repair shop. Old, broken TVs and electronics were scattered across the entire shop... or at least what was left of it. The ground was covered in broken glass, pieces of wood and other debris.

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Apparently, a bunch of the buildings in the town burned down and were left abandoned. I can't say when or how, but the burn marks on the files here make it apparent that this TV shop was a victim of the blaze.

As we left, a man sat in front of one of the buildings downtown, smoked and played with his dog. His building was connected to the destroyed TV shop, so I would guess he lost some of his business in the fire as well. Regardless, we petted his dog for a bit then left the town, headed back home to Tulsa.

Watching The Long Shadows

3 comments:

Caitlin said...

I think unless we want to adopt a dog, I should stop wearing banana tan oil.

Great slides! Como siempre. :)

Rob Bratney said...

these, esten!

make more posts like this!

Jessie said...

Awesome, Esten. I really like that "90% of the midwest" photo. The sky is perfect.

I was driving out to the cabin this weekend (I thought of you as I passed the turnoff to your place past Langley) and thinking about all the intersecting roads I've never explored, and the buildings I've always wanted to go into but haven't. I think I may follow your example sometime soon.