Day 5: Tennessee & North Carolina

I am really rolling now — hitting cities & small towns all over the map, checking things off the list — but still, I’m about a day and a half behind. Going to have to nix a whole lot of my GA & AL plans. Tomorrow night, I’ll figure it all out. Right now, it’s nearly 1am and I just finished getting stuff up a Flickr. So without further ado…

Before leaving Bristol VA/TN, I took a few more photos — here are a couple of a Spirit of Progress-looking building (see below). I guess they removed the central figure at the top of the building when they installed the sign.

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How about some more architecture? A nice Art Deco specimen from Elizabethton, TN:

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from Kingsport, TN, a former Montgomery Ward “Spirit of Progress” building:

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an unidentified motel on the outskirts of Asheville:

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a building detail in downtown Asheville:

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While in Kingsport, TN, I just happened to be driving by as they were re-installing this theatre marquee:

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For the parking lot lights Flickr group which maybe I’ll have time to start when I get home… These seemed to be used solely at gas stations. I believe they have a specific name but I just can’t remember it now:

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OK — now for a little focus piece. I went to see Memory Lane today: Otis Eldridge’s private collection which contains representatives of all the roadside classics. This mini village has a simulated diner, a mini drive-in, a few neon signs, a simulated theatre, a Lustron house, a restored gas station, etc. I put photos of the Roto-Sphere and the Texaco up at Flickr but here are some other shots:

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No tickets or drainage ditches today. But just before getting onto I-40 for a long haul to Asheville, a warning light came on: “Service Engine Soon”. WHAT? I had never seen that before and I’m religious about my 3,000 mile oil changes and all around maintenance. I felt the blood drain immediately from my body when I saw that light come on. Naturally, I thought about the ditch yesterday and was preparing myself for purchasing a new engine, getting a rental van, etc. Luckily, I spotted a Chevy dealership just down the road. One of the guys hooked up the handheld computer and pinpointed the problem as “emissions related”. Again, I figured it was probably my exhaust system that I must’ve ruined yesterday. But no, the guy assured me that it was probably just “bad gas” and he reset the computer. He explained something about ethanol and summer gas vs. winter gas but I was too stressed out to listen/understand him. I’ve driven another several hundred miles, running fine and no more warning lights. So I guess all is well. I’m just a little paranoid right now.

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