Saturday, March 19, 2011
the saddest sign in kansas ... ?
My mission for today (other than driving from Santa Fe to eastern Kansas) was to take some photos of grain silos (see below ...) and grain elevators - which didn't go entirely according to plan: I had a very clear mental picture of one particular old, rusting elevator by the side of the railroad tracks, and by the time I'd reached it, it was pouring with rain, with a dull light that made all of central Kansas look like Minnesota. If I'd fiddled around with a tripod, well, maybe I could have made a good, gloomy image - but as it was, it didn't look enticing enough to get out of the car.
But here, in Hugoton (pop. 3, 708 at the last census; founded 1885 and originally called simply Hugo, in honor of Victor Hugo: that's improbable, but true), is a sad, abandoned cinema. The whole of Main Street looked as though it's going under (though relatively speaking, with a median family income around 50K, probably due to the natural oil in the area, it's not startlingly poor). The cinema is actually owned by Showplace Video next door: it's been for sale since at least 2005, although it seems that very recently the town council has been discussing buying and renovating it. Originally called the Rusada, it was built in 1948, a rather late Boller Brothers venture (they were also responsible for the Lensic in Santa Fe, and the KiMo in Albuquerque). Indeed, rather than grain elevators, I think it would be most fun going round and documenting these, though a sad number seem to have been demolished already ...
Here's the Elkhart silo.