When I learned that my daughter was going to take the Friday after Independence Day off, I asked her if she wanted to go traveling with me through the backcountry of Alabama, especially the Wiregrass area. I wanted to take photographs of building murals in the area. We left in my two-seat roadster that I named T-Red. It’s a 2008 Pontiac Solstice. My dream as a young boy was to be able to drive the mountains and deserts of the Southwest in a two-seat convertible roadster and document the trip. And four years ago I did just that. Spent 8 weeks on the road and 10,550+ miles later we were back home.
However there is basically no room for anything is this car other than the two people who must be able to squeeze in it. In fact there is more room in a fighter jet to maneuver around than there is in this car. I speak from experience. To get out of the car one needs to basically roll out, it is not very graceful. The car sits only about 6 inches off the ground.
On Friday we started our day at about 0730 with breakfast at one of the local restaurants, I wanted to hit the road before it got too hot. The temperatures were expected to reach into the 100s and that it did, for it reached 102 with heat index at around the 110 -112 mark.
Anyway, when I picked up my daughter I told her I thought that we would just go to Brewton which is a drive of about 70 miles. On the way out of town, we ran into one of those crazy drivers on the road who tried to “kill” us by making a U-turn right in from of us as we traveled 65 mph. In fact she was traveling so fast, that she couldn’t make a proper U-turn and ended up completing the turn on the shoulder of the road just as I sped past her.
Of course she gave me the middle finger salute. She passed us going well over 100 mph and a few minutes later, my daughter screams, “dad, watch out that crazy woman is driving down the wrong side of the road.” She was headed directly towards us before turning into a U-haul storage facility. She had traveled about 100 yards on the wrong side of the road just to get into that facilities parking lot.
The rest of the day basically went as planned. Met and talked with interesting people and took many photographs of beautiful building murals. Not only did I take photographs in Brewton, but also Anadulsa, Enterprise, and Dothan (home of U.S. Army Aviation.)
My daughter was surprised to see that many of these murals can cover the entire side of a two story building such as the one shone above which greets visitors coming into Brewton, Alabama from the west on US 29.
Now Enterprise has a statue celebrating the Boll weevil, which is difficult to understand, because this little rascal once upon a time decimated the cotton crops in the south. But I guess if the cotton crops had not been destroyed we may not have the peanut industry we have today. Driving through the country side you might see little green jars placed about 50 to 60 yards apart around the cotton fields. These jars are placed along the field edges to capture any boll weevil that might appear. If one is found, all “hell” breaks loose to try to mitigate any damage that might occur. All-in-all we ended up traveling more than 400 miles to take the photographs I shot. After Twelve hours on the road, five of them with top down, I had a nice cool refreshing Bourbon and Coke to end the day.
I forgot to mention, that during our small excursion, we learned that Andalusia is the Domino Capital of the world. The championship games were this weekend. Who would have thunk that lille’ ole Andalusia would not only be known as the wedding place of Hank Williams and his bride Audrey, but the domino capital to boot.
Brewton: 3 Images (These images are centered in a three block area at US29/31 and Mildred St)
Andalusia: 16 Images (Centered around the town square and down Three Notch Road)
Enterprise: 7 Images (Centered around the Boll Weevil Statue)
Dothan: 20 Images (These images can be found along St Andrews Street.)
Street art from the Wiregrass region of Alabama (musical video slide show) Large video, may require time to stream properly.