Day 8: Nuts About Nebraska
Ever have one of those days where everything goes right? Me neither! But it was pretty damned close today. 99% sun, AC to keep us meat locker cool despite upper 90s outside, lots of planned and unplanned subjects to shoot, happy & healthy dogs…
I’ve been to Nebraska several times before — and done a fairly thorough job, so I thought. But I’m always adding more stuff to my list from my research and it all added up to quite a lot of stops yesterday and today. Tomorrow, I should be able to wrap up and get to Colorado. About a day and a half ahead of schedule! Which always makes me nervous that something will go wrong. But let’s not jinx my good fortune.
It’s nearly 1am — and I have tons of photos for you. The day started in Lincoln. Here’s a nice mid-century building that I hadn’t noticed before. Love the little fins and the asymmetrical use of glass:
A “classic” rooster in Lincoln. If you can’t get enough of them either — I have dozens more at my website:
A couple of signs from Lincoln — the metal on this one appears to be brand new — probably a replica of an older sign:
And an oldie — though maybe the plastic part was a later substitution. And even the text doesn’t quite fill the space right and the panel shows signs of patching. So probably a different name originally.
Moving on to York. I’m thinking neon originally — and then a very nice refurbishing job after removing it. This one’s monster big so I give the owner credit for fixing instead of replacing with a junky plastic sign:
Don’t you love happy endings? I’ve stopped by the Shady Bend in Grand Island for years. The long-vacant building was surrounded with weeds. I peered in the dirty windows to imagine what must have been. It just seemed doomed to crumble eventually. Then, I read that someone actually bought and fixed up the place. Now, the weeds are gone and it’s a very nice little restaurant. More info here:
The entrance area features original cabinets — the restaurant is to the right:
More from Grand Island:
And another success story. The Grand Theatre in Grand Island is being restored:
I had read that Tim Dunn, the master of vitrolite, was going to be restoring the facade. So… when I pulled up and saw the two cranes, I suspected one of the guys must be him.
Sure enough — I was flattered that Tim came down to meet me when I hollered up at him. Some of you may recall my blog coverage a couple of months ago of the restored Quarrier Diner in Charleston, WV. Yep, Tim worked on that:
and the Ritz Theatre in Talladega, AL:
and countless other theatres, storefronts, and interiors. Here’s his website with links to info & photos of some of his other projects:
And here’s a shot of the new replica sign with the cranes down for the matinee:
It seems about half of the Sinclair stations in Nebraska have the dinosaurs on their roofs. The stations seem so modern that I suspect these statues are still being produced:
One more from Grand Island — the Antlers Motel:
From Minden — Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village. I finally stopped & went INTO this place rather than just shooting the sign/building and scurrying on. There was an old carousel there that I needed to shoot for the website. The building might look car showroom-y — but it was actually built for the museum.
There are collections of all sorts — entire buildings moved here, guns, victrolas, printing presses, you name it:
Definitely worth the $13 or so. Lots of old cars — dating all the way back from classic 1950s/1960s to Model Ts or As. But the one that stopped me dead in my tracks was this Amphicar. I’ve never seen one in real life before — it seemed so small and adorable. They were built to be driven on land and water. Here’s more about them:
Note the propellers in back:
And I never knew there was a Valentine diner here. It was originally installed in Kearney, NE in 1947. It was moved here in 1953:
One more from Pioneer Village: this truly neat sign:
Lest you forget about my roadtripping buddies — time for a swim in the Platte River in Kearney. Gremmie motors towards a floating biscuit chunk:
Fixie tells me how she feels:
Grippie with lots of spring in her step — 15 and blind and doesn’t give a damn:
Meanwhile, Nik’s out there, nearly blind himself, totally missing the toy that is inches from his head. Luckily, he knows right/left, come/back so I can direct him to the target:
The new vision challenge has not diminished his obsession with retrieving one bit:
On to Gothenburg — I guess this qualifies as a scaffold sign even though it’s not on a rooftop:
From McCook — I practically stood on Sparkle’s roof for this one — and still couldn’t get the entire bottle in the shot:
And finally, a photo-op from Gothenburg. Note the “Headin’ West” which is appropriate for this trip — and the days yet to come (nearly four more weeks to go folks!):
That’s a wrap. Hope you enjoyed this deluxe post. I can’t promise this many photos every night. I know I have to shoot some gooey desserts or some kind of food for you. Any other special requests?