Day 7: Houston Marathon

Houston kicked my ass today.  I don’t know if it was the heat or possible food poisoning but I’m getting this post off to you in the wee hours because I needed a nap.  Still not feeling right.  It got to around 90 today and although I spent thousands on A/C just last year, nothing at all coming out today.  I stopped at several dog parks today so the dogs could soak in ponds.  This afternoon there was a breeze at least which really helped.  Maybe if Sparkle ever does break down on this trip, I can get the A/C fixed at the same time.

Basically, my stomach is in knots and I feel like I could barf at any second.  Weak.  And I feel like my whole body’s been beaten up.  Kind of like after you do a big move and every muscle aches.  I did get in and out of the van a few thousand times today so maybe that’s it.  I was trying desperately to make a good dent in the TX list.  Didn’t get started til late because there was intense fog in the morning.  Weird.  I should be able to finish Houston tomorrow if I’m feeling right.

Early in the day, I stopped at THE Shipley’s on Ella Blvd.  This is the one with the old neon sign and I think make better donuts than the rest:

So I got two — time for the Dashboard Donut shot:

Cherry and nut (walnuts — no wimpy peanuts here).  I ate them both.  And that’s I think when my problems started.  I haven’t eaten anything since because I feel like I’m going to explode.  But I don’t blame Shipley’s.  Could be just a bad combo of heat, dehydration, and maybe too much sugar at once given that scenario.

Let’s move on to some signs.

Still an operating Sears — different location from the bus shelter than I posted over at Flickr tonight:


This place is gone:

Its building is still there:

This little strip mall has been luckier:

A cute little survivor.  The sign is nicer in person — sun was really glare-y here:

This fried chicken place had a sign I’ve not seen before.  Could this be an early Church’s or something?


This place caught my eye with its turrets and freestanding sign:

The owner came out & shared some of his vintage photos of the place.  Sadly the pylon part of the building to the right has been remodeled (no more pylon):

One last quirky building for tonight:

Back to bed.  Hoping I can sleep this thing off.

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17 thoughts on “Day 7: Houston Marathon

  1. Here’s hoping your rest will have the desired result & you will feel better.
    Your efforts are appreciated. Take care.

    • Well, it wouldn’t be like me to be sitting someplace in misery — when I can do the same thing AND take pictures. It would be far more painful to miss a day of shooting than the pain of the worst food poisoning ever. I didn’t work 60 hour weeks since summer to be watching TV at a hotel someplace.

  2. I found what looks like another picture of the same chicken sign that also seems to indicate it’s an older Church’s sign.
    70's Church's chicken

    Considering your location I’d think you’re right.

    P.S. Feel better today.

    • Hmm. They don’t say where they shot it but it’s obviously the very same sign from the rust spots & my memory of what the wording on the building was. I think I’d be slamming on the brakes if ever I saw such a thing — so there can’t be many left. This was in a pretty skanky neighborhood south of Houston.

    • Feel free to ALWAYS send along suggestions to my email (agilitynut@hotmail.com). I will have to return to Houston some year soon to reshoot some of the grey photos that I took today. As well as new stuff will get added my list, stuff that’s already been shot will change, etc. Only a fraction of what I shot in Houston appears in this post and over at Flickr (agilitynut account, different photos). The real work begins when I get home and start adding everything to the website (RoadsideArchitecture.com).

  3. Hello, Debra Jane! I am late to the bus, thank you for emailing me. All caught up now and in awe of what you accomplished this past week. All I did was taxes and laundry!

    Do not fret over grey cloudy days. Sometimes those photos are the most beautiful. Especially when shooting rusty decrepitude. That even light can be to your advantage, no contrasty shadows to work around. And sign colors can pop more on a grey background. Set your camera white balance to clouds or shade and don’t beat yourself up on days without perfect blue skies.

    Sorry those donuts bit you back. Please try some saltine crackers and ginger ale and I hope you feel better. All my good wishes are for you on this, another amazing roadtrip.

    • Ah — great to hear from you. I was starting to worry that you’d dropped out of the Flickr world entirely. Some people get fed up and just disappear. Thanks for trying to convince me that grey is beautiful. It might be “moody” but I prefer “pop” of reflections and shadow. Though that can often be problematic. Crackers sound like a good idea. I did nibble on a croissant today and that didn’t go so well. Stick around — the trip’s just beginning! Always good to have someone as passionate and positive as you around.

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