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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
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American Roadside Architecture - Catch it Before It's Gone

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After giving the Mom & Pop Motel guide a little bit of thought I believe that it has to be a phone app with a VR tour. 

I've seen a few of the high end hotels offer a virtual reality tour on their websites now and I think being able to walk through a motel and check out the room before even stopping to take a look would be beneficial to those mom & pops that are clean and comfortable looking. Of course, there may be a VR marketing angle to be found for the seedier motels too, but I digress.

Imagine if you could pull up Main St. in Anytown on Google maps, click on the motel that looks interesting from the street view, and then walk into the rooms and around the grounds before your trip even starts. It wouldn't eliminate looking at the room before you signed in but at the least you would have a good idea what it was like before you got there and could eliminate the less desirable motels from the start.

Roadhound

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The Service Bay

Need emergency repairs while on that road trip? Broken fan belt? Leaking radiator? Replace a tire? Those services where once available at most gas stations along your route. The service bay was where the work would take place and if it required the mechanic to get to the vehicles underside then there was the hydraulic lift in the center of the shop to raise the vehicle. 

Today, a stop for fuel requires you to pump your own gas and emergency repairs, well, good luck with that.

The service bay pictured below was once part of a Sinclair station in James Town, Wyoming.

SC121532-5D10429.jpg

 

Roadhound

http://rick-pisio.pixels.com

http://www.rwphotos.com

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Rick,

 

I am blown away. I followed the first link under the photo which led me to some of your recent work. I hope the folks at American Road notice your road images. You should be a regular featured contributor. Your images capture the feeling of the America Road in a way that draws me back for more.

 

American Road is a great provider of road related images. I wish they would ask you  to do a two page spread every issue, a centerfold of American road  beauty.  Becky has told me many times that the Forum is a source of inspiration and content.  Becky, this is the proof.

 

I have followed your work over the past several years here and you clearly have mastered the art. You have graduated from excellent to masterly. I don't know anyone else who is producing your quality content and evocative, creative presentation. And I appreciate the accompanying stories.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

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Thanks Dave, I sincerely appreciate the kind words.

I have had a couple of photos in issues of American Road in the past,  usually in the letters section. However, if the editors decide to heed your advice I'm not that hard to find. 

I am grateful that the good folks at American Road magazine keep this forum up and running. In a world where everyone has moved to Facebook, Twitter,  Snapchat or other social media it's nice to have this refuge where you can actually converse about a topic with others that have a similar interest in a respectful manner and not worry about some troll hijacking it. I have gained so much knowledge over the years from contributors like yourself that are willing to share what they know and actually seem to enjoy helping to research the things that they don't. 

Rick

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I do appreciate that AR maintains the Forum. Many Kudos. But like you note, most people prefer other means to share, like Facebook....which is great. I have been using it for longer than many users have been alive.

 

The media defines the content. Pony Express, telegraph, and post cards defined how much, what, and how often we shared travel insights. Take the telegram for example. "Stage robbed, cousin John shot, wish you were here. STOP.." Its like a Facebook post without the selfie.

 

A friend who loves the French was in France when Notre Dame burned. I looked at her Facebook, and friends shared such insights as "Disastrous," "Devastated, thought of you" "So Sad," "A real loss," and the like. I added "Bad news." You can't say that it didn't capture in real time the pain and the despair she was feeling on the trip. Someone posted "Get well," but I think it was intended for someone else.

 

My daughter and her husband went to Disneyland recently. Again her friends contributed. "Looks like fun," "Did you meet Mickey?" "How long were the lines?" Lots of good travel news like that. And bless my daughter, she posted stuff like "Great room," "Lost a suitcase," and "Headed home Monday." It was like being there.

 

So you see, forums and Facebook each have a place. Can you even imagine this piece on Facebook.....and why would you? :)

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

 

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Quote

The media defines the content. Pony Express, telegraph, and post cards defined how much, what, and how often we shared travel insights. Take the telegram for example. "Stage robbed, cousin John shot, wish you were here. STOP.." Its like a Facebook post without the selfie.

Dave,

The social media apps themselves don't bother me as a concept, I've even seen some good things come out of it, but what bothers me is what is done with the data that gets collected. Combine the data collected by FaceApp (Russian) with AI and it has the potential of creating a lot of havoc in our reality. The Pony Express may have collected some very rudimentary data about it's clients but its nothing compared to what Facebook users give up about themselves voluntarily.

Rick

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Back to business.

One piece of roadside architecture that symobolized baby boomer car culture of the 50 and 60's, and has been dissappearing from the roadside landscape for quite some time now, is the drive-in movie theater. One reason often given for the demise that started in the 70's was improvements made to the sound systems in the walk-ins. Who wanted to watch Star Wars and listen to it through a single speaker hanging from the driver's window when you could see it indoors in Dolby Stereo? The remaining drive-ins have made some improvements by broadcasting the movie audio via FM but for most of the sites their fate was sealed long ago.

While the sound system may have been a factor I believe the real reason for their demise was the value of the land they sat on. When they were first built they were in a location away from the center of town, but as cities grew and expanded they gobbled up the land around the drive-in and eventually the drive-in itself. Today there are only 348 operating drive-ins nationwide, which is down from around 4000 in the 1950's.

One statistic I would be interested in seeing was what percentage of the baby boomer generation, and the Gen X generation that followed, were concieved in the back seat of a car at a drive-in? 

The Motor Vu pictured below is located in Riverdale, Utah. 

SC121501-5D10332.jpg

Rick
http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
http://www.rwphotos.com

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I don't know how to relate this to road travel, but I fully agree. It is apparent to an old guy that we are already in WWIII. It is, or can be, waged by using the internet to send tailored misinformation to targeted audiences, and to disable or compromise key infrastructure.

It is easy to identify our political predispositions. We not only answer questions on the web directly when invited, the sites we visit clearly identify our attitudes and beliefs. We can unwittingly be fed a buffet of distorted and tailored "news" designed to reinforce our misbeliefs and prejudices.

Imagine how incapacitating even a limited compromising of our voting apparatus would be. Americans across diverse views would doubt the results were authentic. More effective than tanks and planes.

And who needs bombs if you can shut down something as mundane as Safeway's or Amazons delivery networks for a few weeks, or disrupt airline reservation systems. What would happen if your credit card didn't work at the gas pump? And half of America would go dumb if twitter went silent.

Get your road trips in now!!!

 

Dave

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Having grown up in the "Drive In Era," I doubt the sound system was a big issue, but believe that land values played a sizable role.

Another difference at least in my experience was that a walk-in movie was something of a social event. And it was often combined with a dinner out. It was a bit of an event. A real date.  And some theaters were beautiful, not like my 51 Chev.

The drive in was almost like watching a movie on TV. Nothing much distinguished it from an evening at home....except the movie itself. Taking a girl to a drive in was considered a cheap date, while a dinner and walk in movie was upscale. And after you had an apartment, why use the back seat? :)

In addition, the drive in screen was too small, too far away, and viewed through a windshield. The big wrap around screens of the walk in could not be duplicated in a field.

Dave

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