Not far from Bowling Green

It’s difficult to catch the wind or to harness a butterfly, it is even more difficult to explain the Blue Rose. One thing that it is, is a collection of stories with pictures and mostly true. Other than that, the what or the possibly the who, I will leave up to you. I wish I could say the Blue Rose was the result of one of my three a.m. wakings, grabbing a notebook and pen, but it was not that dramatic. Flipping through my photographs one day I ran across the blue passionflower and rose, put two and two together and here is the outcome. Having done some non fiction writing, I wondered what sort of story I could come up by mixing the truth with some ideas where the truth was not that important. While doing some research, I discovered that there are several books out there with the title of The Blue Rose but a true Blue Rose flower remains a Gardener’s dream.

The word “dream” seems fitting as this series of stories will be a journey of a Photojournalist as he seeks the perfect “Blue Rose” Story. Come along on this trip but just remember, as Ringo Starr said”You know it don’t come easy.”An Encounter

Not far from Bowling Green

Not far from Bowling Green life is good at the Porky Pig Diner
The Picture Man up shifted as he hit a flat stretch on highway 31 headed toward Edmonson County and away from Bowling Green. He had noticed earlier that it was a picture perfect blue sky, light breezes and up above, ice crystals of a few wispy cirrus clouds were floating around.

It was the rest day of the week and he wanted to do a little shooting, maybe catch a freight train rolling by, a red-tailed hawk eyeballing a farmer’s field or pretty much whatever would come along. Having checked out the map beforehand just like any good old Boy Scout would, he had decided on the Porky Pig for a cup of coffee and a pause for the cause. Who know, he might get lucky and  even run across a good story or two.

Sunday morning at 7:30 is slow time at the Porky Pig Diner in Pig, a quick
head count showed 16 Diners. This would change as soon as the churches
let out when in a matter of three hours one hundred to one hundred fifty
people would come for the Sunday Buffet.
As soon as the here comes a stranger head snaps were done with, talk,
conversation and gossip returned back to normal. According to one of the regulars, Joe Daugherty, anyone sitting at the big round table was considered to be”Sitting at the story table or at the table of knowledge.”

Joe and grandson

A little
eavesdropping reassured me that the group was doing a fine job of solving
the problems of the world. Owner of the Pig for 21 years, Ramona Durham
flashes smiles and if she has time will tell you that the Diner has been
featured in several national publications. This place is neat, clean, has a
great menu and Ethan and Ramona’s cooking makes it smell like
grandma’s kitchen.

Breakfast Buffet

 

Ramona

The buffet menu usually has four meats including their
famous fried catfish, fried chicken, ham, smoked pulled pork, side dishes
and dessert. The community of Pig got its name when in order to have a
Post Office it needed a name. The townsfolk had a meeting about the
name and basically squabbled about whose last name it should carry until
one farmer saw a hog crossing the road and said “Hey, let’s name the town
Pig”. Ah, life was good and sometimes easy. To be continued……

 

The Blue Rose Stories

 

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Possibly The Blue Rose

Possibly The Blue Rose

 

 

It’s difficult to catch the wind or to harness a butterfly, it is even more difficult to explain the Blue Rose. One thing that it is, is a collection of stories with pictures and mostly true. Other than that, the what or the possibly the who, I will leave up to you. I wish I could say the Blue Rose was the result of one of my three a.m. wakings, grabbing a notebook and pen, but it was not that dramatic. Flipping through my photographs one day I ran across the blue passionflower and rose, put two and two together and here is the outcome. Having done some non fiction writing, I wondered what sort of story I could come up by mixing the truth with some ideas where the truth was not that important. While doing some research, I discovered that there are several books out there with the title of The Blue Rose but a true Blue Rose flower remains a Gardener’s dream.

The word “dream” seems fitting as this series of stories will be a journey of a Photojournalist as he seeks the perfect “Blue Rose” Story. Come along on this trip but just remember, as Ringo Starr said”You know it don’t come easy.”

The search begins

The search begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evelyn

RFC

Evelyn and Elmer

Evelyn was a tall willowy woman who could look at home either back at the farm which currently was in the hands of Elizabeth her oldest daughter or selling perfume at the downtown Macy’s department store.It was 1945 and the War  sounded like it was going to over soon, but right now she was on a mission of sorts per the War Department in Washington. Evelyn also was one of those people that liked to parcel nicknames, several times she had  thought of this train as “The Spy Special”.  Evelyn’s  husband Elmer was a soldier stationed at Fort Knox as part of the the Signal Corps, whatever that was. One thing was for certain, she had to deliver these documents to Elmer.

The Station’s overnight rooms seemed like a handy place to bed down and she was just downright weary of sitting and looking out of a dusty train window. As Evelyn crossed the tile floor of the Station proper she noticed something shiny on the floor and couldn’t resist bending over and picking it up. The object was a new 1944 dime. With some hesitation she tucked the dime into her pocketbook, “Well” she thought, which almost turned into a “Well Hell”, “With all these people walking around, if I don’t pick it up, somebody else will”. Evelyn thought that she might feel guilty by picking up somebody else s money and keeping it, but to the contrary the dime felt warm and almost tingly. When she held it up and looked at it closer against the window light she noticed a man dressed in a sharply tailored blue suit standing out front.holding a Speed Graphic camera. The photographer seemed to be on a photo shoot involving one of the new Chevrolet cars that had just been produced.The thought that he must be a Picture Man instantly crossed her mind.

 

The Picture Man

The Picture Man

The blue ’67 Camaro

The Picture man decided that he would shoot the blue ’67 Camaro and the black Chevelle and then take a break. He had been at the Drag Strip for over nine hours already and had been shooting cars for the last five. Beech Bend was a great drag strip but so much burnt rubber and nitro methane is enough. Besides that, he really wanted to find himself a story to write about today.

The black Chevelle

A look at his Nikon told him he had taken 238 pictures of cars so far. He was using his old and reliable Nikon D90.  Last year in 2013 the camera had turned five years old which is ancient in the digital world,it had over 84,000 shutter clicks on it but it was a faithful workhorse. Almost tripping over the untied lace of his Diesels he snugged his camera and headed back to his table where his laptop and displays were set up. “End of May and already the switch is on high heat” he thought. He would go over and see Melvin at the Old Mule Concessions first and sang a cold bottle of water and then download the images. Turning his body with his camera snugged he noticed out of the corner of his vision Jackie and Bruce in the staging lanes. Bruce was a championship driver of another Camaro, a generation 3. He and Jackie were on a scooter watching the action and waiting for Bruce’s turn on the Strip. It looked like they saw him because they did a quick couples pose for the camera.

JandB

Jackie and Bruce

 

The Picture Man unlocked the gate, turned to re lock it, turned his head and stood still for a good ten seconds. What had caught his eye was a mass of tattoos. These were not ordinary run of the mill tramp stamps, these beauties were engraved garnishes of swirls, flowers and whatevers done up in blues, greens, reds and black.

One of the tattoos

They adorned the arms and neck of a, what, girl? lady?? What do you call somebody that appears to be about twenty when you’re an old guy over sixty, a girl or a woman? At least it was obvious that she was a female.

Hesitation was not one of the traits of the Picture Man but hesitate he did. After seeing Jackie and Bruce he did a quick photo shoot with the Indie Babes and his eyes were still burning. “Screw it ” he whispered to himself “I’m taking a break”. The Picture Man wanted a real break, away from the Track hunkered down with a large cherry lime slush and a chili dog at the Sonic down the road.

Babes

The Indie Babes

He couldn’t quite get his mind of the tattoos he had seen and the story that would be behind them and had managed to speak to Miss Tattoo long enough to fine out her name was Beth with a twin sister by the name of Bethany and that her and her husband had a dragster in the races this weekend.

The dragster

It was time to head to the Sonic down the road for a super size cherry limeade and possibly a chili dog. He would be driving down Louisville Road which had one of his favorite landmarks….Tobacco Road,

 

 

US31

Jim The Picture man climbed into his blue Mustang convertible, set his camera on the passenger seat and put the car into gear. He was headed to one of his favorite watering holes for a jumbo size iced cherry limeade and a chilli dog.

He had bought the car from Betterworth Motors and within a day of having it, it seemed that the car was produced with him in mind. Speaking of mind, he better keep his mind on driving the car, the signal had turned red and he slid to a stop. He looked to his left to see what was next to him and his heart did a world class flip flop. No less than a semi tractor, navy blue in color with gold lettering was next to him and when he looked closer he saw the words Carrie Anne, an eagle and a rose on the side of the cab. It wasn’t a blue rose but doggone if it wasn’t a rose on a blue background.It didn’t seem like he could reach for his camera quick enough but he did. He leaned out the car window and fired off two quick shots.

Carrie Anne

Hollies_-_Carrie_Anne_US

The future wife

Seeing the name Carrie Anne took him back momentarily to the summer of 1967. The Hollies put out that hit and if he tried hard enough he probably could a better job of remembering the lyrics of that song than he could his granddaughters’ birthdays. 1967 was a year of war in Vietnam, riots in the cities and last time he saw his grandmother Ethel alive. He could still picture her wearing her blue calico nightgown and slippers sitting in her rocking chair and eating cornbread and milk out of a blue Tupperware bowl. That Fall he also met his future wife and bought his second used car, a 1964 Malibu Super Sport rag top.

With his 1964 Chevelle Malibu

The green light of reality moved Carrie Anne away leaving him with the smell of diesel fuel instead of the fragrance of Ambush or Tabu.The Picture Man shifted gears and made a left turn on to Nashville Road from Dishman Lane, he had decided to take the scenic route back to the Track. US31W or Nashville Road is an odd collection of new steel and shiny glass mixed in with worn clapboard , rusty cars and vacant land.He had plenty of time to cruise good old US 31 and he wanted to see if the old Cadillac was still in front of the concrete Company. The Cadillac was a 1975 and of the same color that Country Western singer and songwriter Hank Williams had died in. He was pronounced dead on New Years day 1953 after being declared dead by the local Medical Examiner. Cause of death was a malfunction of a heart valve which is a polite way of saying too much much booze and drugs at once. Blue was not a good color for him.

Hank Williams blue

Cadillac

Seen along US31

Alongside US 31

1960 Chevy on US 31

US31 Runs from northern Michigan to southern Alabama. South of Montgomery, US 31 is sometimes called the “Mobile Highway”. Markers in North Alabama also identify it as the “Beeline Highway”.

On US 31

It was that time of the year were Thistle was adding some color to the vacant lots, he remembered reading somewhere that Kiowa Indians would boil the blossoms and make a burn ointment from it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Getting closer to town now he passed the Cardinal Motel where two things caught his eye and made him do a u-turn in the old Diner across the street.

The Cardinal Motel

An old Diner

What looked like about a 1958 yellow Pontiac was item number one in his sight line,. Item number two was some Babe in a Cowboy hat. He hoped that his camera battery still had some juice and his ink pen hadn’t run dry.Things just might get interesting here, it was a long time since he had laid his eyes on a good looking 1950’s Pontiac. The lady? no way was he going to guess what would come out of here mouth, she looked like was from California and in his experiences people from California did not have a sense of humor and were so poor they didn’t have two thin dimes to rub together.

1958 Pontiac Station Wagon

The Babe

To be continued……….,
Upcoming characters in the Blue Rose Stories……………

Del the train engineer

Betty the mom

The bus station

Tobacco Road

The Blue Mustang

Tammy the hitchhiker

Ghost Dancer

Ghost Dancer

 

 

To be continued……….,

The Great Blue Heron

 

The Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron

 

The great blue Heron stood on his spindly legs that were now covered with old age spots and moved the better of his two golden eyeballs across the marshy pond. Trying to ignore one of his brethren cousins, a Bittern, he was hoping to spear a snack with his bill real soon to help fill his prominent belly.

Bittern

Bittern

 

He had been coming to this pond for several cycles now and he wasn’t sure how many more trips he would be able to make. His bones were creaky and he noticed on the flight up here from his winter home that he now had several white wing feathers that once had been blue.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Had he been a human and able to read a map he would find that his exact flight co-ordinates were at 36° 59′ 25″ N / 86° 26′ 37″ W, or at a place called Bowling Green in Kentucky.