By Ruth A. Ringelstetter
In April of 2009, Joann and I visited Wilmington, Ohio in the middle of the day in the pouring rain. We had a few things on our list to photograph and we tried our hardest to make the best of the weather.
Some of the photographs turned out well, others did not. Joann put on her wish list to return on our next trip, if at all possible, so I worked it into the plan to stop on the way east during our April, 2012 trip.
Our list of things to photograph in Indiana is huge, so rather than just sticking to the interstate and getting to Ohio as quickly as possible, we made many stops across Indiana. I know you won’t be surprised when I tell you that, late in the day, we had many miles to go before reaching our reserved motel room.
We switched drivers and I drove the highways towards our motel. But on the way, we still had to make time for Wilmington. Our plan was to photograph an old Dairy Queen sign that we hadn’t captured well on our previous trip and then continue to the motel. But, as we pulled into town, the theater sign was lit up. Who could resist?
It was a Saturday night, and the downtown was very busy. The streets were parked full of cars so Joann asked if I wanted to pull up and let her out. I did an illegal stop at the next stop light and she quickly gathered her equipment. She told me she would hurry and I should drive around the block and then pick her up.
Around the block I went. When I got back to the theater, I could see her still taking shots, so I continued around the block again. Knowing that she needed more time, I increased my “block” to about a three-block area. Now as I came past the theater, I couldn’t see her! Oh crap, now what? There was still nowhere to park, so back down to the same stoplight I went.
Turning the corner, I decided to do my three-block route again and this time, as I came past the theater, I could see Joann walking toward the corner. I pulled into my illegal parking spot so she could climb in and then we headed for the old DQ sign.
We couldn’t remember if the Dairy Queen had been open on our first trip, but this time it was looking very sad.
Thankfully, the old sign was still there in the parking lot. Joann took a lot of photos knowing that the next time we were in the area, the building and sign could well be gone.
When we finished up and punched the motel address into Irwin (our trusty GPS), we found we still had an hour of driving to go. It’s a good thing we always reserve our motels with a credit card and warn them that we’ll probably be late arriving. (I should say there’s never a “probably” about it!)
When you’re out in your travels and you find something great, take your photos then, because you never know how long it will be there.