Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tumbleweed Corner Pearce, AZ February 11, 2011

Whenever I drive into the town of Pearce/Sunsites in Cochise county, I always pass a colorful empty gas station named the Tumbleweed Corner. It’s painted green, yellow and red. Hard to miss. Been driving pass here since 2007 and I’ve yet to see it open for business.
I placed, photographed and documented #89 on one of the gas pumps. The plastic cowboy was green and the plastic indian was red. Definitely matched the decor!
I wondered what the Apache Chief, Cochise, would have thought about gas stations.  The heck with immobilizing the white man by stealing his horses.  Just set the white man's gas pumps on fire.  Easy and a lot cheaper than the price of hay to feed stolen horses.  Then there is fire.  The equalizer whether when it comes to gas pumps or horses!  The one aspect that never changes with time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

105 9th Street, Safford, AZ February 10, 2011

Across the street from a GM and Nissan car and truck dealership was a small, dirty beige stucco house with a primitive looking screen door and heaps of dead foliage scattered in the front yard. As soon as I placed, photographed and documented #91 on one of the front window sills, I heard a voice say, "Can I help you?." Startled, I turned around and saw a late middle aged, Hispanic man in a dark t-shirt and jeans. He stood next to his home and leaned over the front yard fence. I don’t think he saw me interact with the cowboy and indian icon art piece. My reply to him was I was interested in preserving old local homes on film. I asked him what he knew about this house. He told me that the former owner was injured badly in a car accident in Phoenix and never came back. Once he began talking about the house he went on to tell me about the homes and the families they belonged to across the street where the car dealership now stood. Then he added that the house he was living in now as an adult was the house he grew up in. He’s lived in the house all along even his parents died. This man seemed to be a bit on the lonely side along with being curious.
I bid him farewell and thanked him for his time. As I walked back to my car, I thought about the man. There he was - a lonely man living next to an abandoned lonely house. It appeared that time had forgotten them both. They were companions of each other - bonded by memories.

Corner of 9th Street and 3rd Avenue, Safford, AZ February 10, 2011

Seen a patient today in a part of town that I wasn’t familiar with. A block of homes shadowed by car dealership and small town industry. It appeared to be more of an area inhabited by adults than of thriving young families with children.
A beige stucco house with missing clay shingles and backyard trees that were overgrown on to the road caught my attention. I parked on the street and walked up to the porch. The front windows were partially boarded. All that occupied the porch was a dining room chair, a stove and a small pile of plastic Christmas decorations.
I placed, photographed and documented #87 on the stove underneath a boarded window. Mission accomplished. Let’s see what a walk around the block brings.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

385 Stadium Avenue, Thatcher, AZ February 4, 2011

It was at this location that I made a startling discovery. I had made TWO #86 art pieces.
One had a red cowboy and yellow indian while the other had a yellow cowboy and red indian. How weird is that?!?
Since this location was an abandoned farm, I placed, documented and photographed #86A in a silo now partially filled with furniture and unwanted appliances. Then I placed, documented and photographed #86B on an apple green piece of farm equipment.
This location had plenty of spots to tuck away 50 or more cowboy and indian icon art pieces if I so desired. It seemed appropriate to leave the "twins" in this abandoned, agricultural wasteland. Just like the song in a particular chewing gum commercial - "Double your pleasure. . . Double your fun!"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

412 15th Street, Safford, AZ February 3, 2011

Right down the street from the "assemblage art" house was an empty house that was painted pink with light blue trim. No For Sale sign or any other personal homeowner items out front. When I walked up and looked into one of the front, rectangle windows - the inside was completely empty. I placed, documented and photographed #85 on one of the quaint, blue window sills.
As I walked back to my car, scenarios of living in this pastel colored, concrete house entertained my fancy. The thought of whisking this house out of here - like Dorothy’s abode in the Wizard of Oz - entertained me. However, this house would land on a dirt road not too far from the heart beat of downtown Sante Fe. A location that would allow me to skip or stroll back home after satisfying my culinary cravings for gourmet southwestern food in a different restaurant almost each and every night. Cuisines far away from cowboy coffee, beans and biscuits.


425 15th Street, Safford, AZ February 3, 2011

I happened to be parked and daydreaming in my car when I noticed a house in the short distance that looked as if it was a large piece of assemblage art itself. While I waited for my patient to come home from a doctor’s appointment, in my view were heaps of old stick fencing, rusted manual farm tools, rows of old bottles, a Christmas wreath, bovine & equine bones and anything rusted which one might consider as "antique."
Then a thought entered my scheming little mind, "Would anyone notice one of my cowboy and indian icon art pieces in the middle of all this?" I placed, photographed and documented #84 on a large log in front of the house - forever tucked away in its own menagerie.


1st Street & Ditch Bank Road, Thatcher, AZ January 26, 2011

I placed, photographed and documented #76 at a old house with a tin roof. It was the only abandoned house in a row of occupied dwellings across from a farmer’s field. Behind this house were the largest pine trees that I’ve ever seen in my life. In front of the house were pine cones, horse droppings and odd pieces of a green patterned linoleum. Inside of the house - unknown. Every window and entrance was boarded up. Effective barriers to keeping out people like me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

946 Cholla Drive, Safford, AZ January 26, 2011

The placement, documentation and photograph of cowboy and indian icon art piece #80 on the fence separating home from Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church was the most fun. Why? Repetitive eye candy formulated in precision rows - not a painted white stone, orange and red reflective plastic rectangles or clear and turquoise colored lighting cover was a 10th of an inch out of place. The gravel, each and every piece, covered the entire courtyard and driveway appeared to be put in place according to nuance of color. In the middle of this "courtyard" is a life size covered wagon and a toilet made out of white porcelain and horse shoes.
A senior citizen couple live there. Is it a case of being bored in retirement or have they been this way all their lives? What ever the answer may be, it’s still a fun place to take my out-of-town guests for a bit of eccentric sightseeing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cactus Road & Hwy. 191, Safford, AZ January 26, 2011

While the new year of 2011 was debuting, the abode at this address was in flames.
None of the building was salvageable. Its last tenant was a woman who wove rugs and large carry-all bags out of colorful pieces of cloth. Since her home could be seen from Hwy. 191, she had a clothes line strung out in her front yard in order to display her latest creations for sale. I bought a small area rug and large carry-all bag from her husband who was the proprietor of her business. Not long after that they moved away. No one else moved into the old dilapidated house. The house was vandalized and had an open front door.
This abode was very significant to me. In the home was a fireplace made of tile. The tile was very unique. It had a textured, forest green background with thick burnt orange stripes with thin tan stripes running through the middle of the burnt orange ones. It was on this fireplace mantle that I placed, documented and photographed cowboy and indian icon art piece #1. This was the place where my whole art project began.
All that was left standing was a plain brick fireplace and chimney. Charred pieces of the tile were all around it. It was on this erect survivor that I placed, documented and photographed cowboy and indian icon art piece #82. I’ll never know if anyone discovered art piece #1 before the fire and removed it. For all I knew, I could’ve been standing on its charred remains amongst all the other rubble.
Before I left the sight, I picked up and took back to my car two pieces of the charred tile.
It would be gingerly cleaned up and placed on my mantle - with a memory.