Saturday, February 26, 2011

624 Haskell Avenue, Willcox, AZ January 28, 2011

Welcome folks to the Hacienda Motel and Apartments. What’s left of them.
Except for the main office, the aging temporary housing was now protected by a chain link fence. What attracted me to this building was the kitschy cacti painted all over the outside walls.
I placed, documented and photographed art piece #83 on the inside windowsill of an already broken out pane of glass. All the plastic cowboy and indian on the art piece needed now were straw sombreros. Ole!

842 4th Street, Thatcher, AZ January 21, 2011

After visiting patients in Pima, I took one of my short cuts back to the hospital through Thatcher. If I’m a sucker for exploring abandoned houses, I’m even more of a sucker for an abandoned airstream trailers. The house on 4th Street wasn’t only abandoned but it had an abandoned streamlined trailer painted turquoise and white. The silver body of the airstream showed through the spots of chipped paint.
I parked my car on the street and walked to the back of the property where the airstream stood. Then I realized that no one had been to the airstream lately since mine were the only footprints in the sand. The door to the airstream still functionally opened and closed. After I opened the door, the essence of the 1950's surrounded me. Most of the drapes had been torn or deteriorated away from the windows. What was left were stained drapes with a large leafy pattern of green, rose and yellow colors. All I could think about at that point was how cool it would’ve been to have a piece of clothing fashioned out of the fabric of those drapes. I wanted to wear the drapes some how.
When one walks into this mobile vehicle, the first piece of furniture that grabs one’s attention is a falling apart, large wooden stereo console with an undisturbed turntable.
All I could imagine was how this once may have been a traveling party abode. All that was missing was the shaker and martini glasses. I placed, documented and photographed #81 on the stereo console.
That night on my way home from work, I stopped in to one of the few clothing stores in town. Wouldn’t you know, there was a jacket made in the style, fabric and pattern a la 1950's. It was in my size! Definitely a sign not to take any rotten drapes down from the placement sight of a cowboy and indian icon art piece because something better is around the corner. Not only better but fresh and new a la 2000's - never out of style.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Maud's Restaurant Clifton, AZ January 11, 2011

I remember as a kid my father would take the family to a drive-in restaurant as a special treat. One could either eat their burger in the car or outside at a type of picnic table. That fond memory attracted me to Maud’s.
The restaurant hasn’t been open at least for the past year from what I could see. There are no parking spaces one could pull their vehicle into for service. A patron would walk up to the service window to put in, pay and receive their order. No waitresses or waiters. Very limited seating inside with the main seating outside at picnic tables made out of a grayish hard plastic with black metal legs and supports.
Even if this restaurant was open, this past week wasn’t one for dining outside. On occasion, we receive snow here in southeastern AZ. There wasn’t any around where I live except on top of Mt. Graham. There was, here, in Greenlee county. Thankfully, it doesn’t stay on the ground for days like it does in my home state of Michigan. Usually a day here at the most. All I can say is desert plants are tough. No matter how snow laden the cacti or agave gets - they thaw out and continue to thrive like the rest of us. The Prickly Pear cactus around my house usually only meets its demise at the jaws of wandering jack rabbits.
Speaking of eating. . . I placed, documented and photographed art piece #78 on the sill of the window where one would place and pick-up their food order.
"That’ll be one green chile burro for Mr. Cowboy and a bean burro with cheese for Mr. Indian, please." Since neither of them are actual living creatures and just plastic figures integrated into an art piece - I doubt they’ll ever mind if a soul never returns to reopen the restaurant. Art, agave and cacti endure.

Clifton Social Club Clifton, AZ January 11, 2011

The Clifton Social Club is not located in a very social place. By that it I mean the street it is located on, Chase Creek. That street is so narrow that barely two cars can pass one another. Parking a car on that street is a no-no unless one can squeeze into a space across the street from Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Back in the late 1800's - early 1900's, Chase Creek was the center of activity in Clifton.
Mexican laborers, who worked in the copper mine, built homes on Chase Creek because the land was cheap and the smelter was located at one end of the street. A smelter is used to fuse or melt ore so the metal can be separated from it. Living on Chase Creek made the walk to work quick and easy.
I asked around but couldn’t find when the Clifton Social Club had its origins on Chase Creek. Could it have been in 1905, after Judge McCalister reinstated the law that mandated that no houses of ill repute could be located within one hundred feet of the highway? Might have the Clifton Social Club replace some other establishments of socialization?
I placed, photographed and documented art piece #77 in the corner of the doorway at the Clifton Social Club. The main door was secured by a heavy, large link, chain and lock.
It wasn’t until I got back to Safford that I learned that the Clifton Social Club was still rented out for social functions. In fact, a party was planned in there for Super Bowl Sunday. Thinking about it, maybe art piece #77 will be brought inside for the super bowl festivities? Will that be a beer or soda for you Mr. Cowboy and for you Mr. Indian?