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Archive for the ‘Mail Pouch Barns’ Category

Harley Warrick – The Barn Painter In The News



It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted to BluegrassPhotography.Net so I thought it was about time I catch up a bit and get some news out. In this case it’s news stories I’m posting about.

As I’m sure most of my subscribers know, I have a passion for old barns. Old Mail Pouch barns in particular. So when I recently had an opportunity to dig into the life of the most well known barns painters, Harley Warrick, needless to say, I was very excited. Harley’s son Roger and I were talking one day about his father’s history and I asked him if he had a collection of photos and/or videos of his father’s work. A few weeks later Roger showed up at my door with a few boxes of photo albums and a box of old VHS video tapes. The videos were all “news reels” of stories local media throughout the region had done on his dad later in his career when he had become somewhat of an Americana icon. I told Roger I thought all his media should be archived in digital format and offered to scan all the photos and digitize all of the video tapes.

What started out as an archiving project turned into a video of news clips that I offered to produce for Roger. Although I had offered to take on the task free of charge, Roger kindly offered up a couple of old Mail Pouch items from his collection, which I certainly agreed upon. The final video includes quite a few videos from various local news stations and some national shows like Good Morning America and On the Road with Charles Kuralt. The video also includes some radio interviews that are backed up with photos from the Warrick family photo albums.

Although most of you reading this probably are not Mail Pouch “geeks” like me you may enjoy the historical information in this video and associated photo collection.

Click here to view the video. Enjoy!

Click here to view the archived photo collection. Enjoy!


Eat Quaker Oats!


I recently traveled to Rock Island Arsenal Garrison in the middle of the Mississippi River to install an interactive display that we (White Design Studio) produced for the U.S. Army. As usual, prior to my trip I searched for any Mail Pouch barns or covered bridges along the way or near Rock Island. Apparently Illinois is a bit to far west to have a bunch of Mail Pouch barns but I did find out about a couple of Bull Durham signs on old brick buildings. Good enough for me!

I love going out to find a particular barn or sign and running across additional “finds”. In this case I ran across this old “Eat Quaker Oats” sign. This was an awesome find for me as I’ve never seen Quaker Oats advertised anywhere other than an AARP magazine of my parents or on TV in the winter time. This sign was on the lower part of a building that had an extremely faded Bull Durham Tobacco sign on it also. I found it quite ironic that something so good for you was advertised on the same building as a tobacco product.

I did end up locating the two Bull Durham signs. The first of which was between two bars. One a “biker” bar that I wondered into looking for help locating the second Bull Durham sign. Thanks to Bill and Harry for their help with directions to the second sign. I would have never thought I’d have a beer with a couple of strangers in a biker bar, but those two guys were great! Although Harry warned me that I best watch myself because, as he told me where the second sign was he mentioned, “There’s a queer bar near there”. Which I found humorous because I had just met and had a beer with him and his buddy, two biker dudes. If you had asked me prior to this trip which situation I would prefer finding myself in, I’m not sure it would have been the biker dudes version! It may sound goofy, but Bill and Harry reinforced a lesson most of us never really learn about people…. “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

Click here for the rest of the gallery. Enjoy!

Ashland, Kentucky & John Prine


I never win anything! Except… John Prine tickets in Ashland, Kentucky.

A FaceBook friend turned me on to a radio contest in Morehead, Kentucky to win tickets to the John Prine show in Ashland so I signed up thinking, “Here’s just another way of someone getting my contact information, to be used to fill my spam box for the next 10 years”. But no, I actually won. As I said, I never win anything like this so I was really excited. I mean, John Prine, and I won something.

So the debate started. Who should I take? My wife, who knows not one John Prine song? My son, who loves John Prine? My buddy Ken, who is such a fan he’s seen John Prine before most of us knew who John Prine was? Ken’s seen his share, Michael has had his share of free shows with dad, so once I made Betsy a “best of John Prine” CD and she thought it was “good”, the wife was the choice!

Unfortunately, since I was honest and asked about bringing in my camera, and turned down, you don’t get to see any shots of the actual show. But if you’ve been here before and read any of my posts, you know I shot images along the way. Since I’ve driven the AA highway dozens of times most of the shots are from right around and in Ashland. I really didn’t have a ton of shooting time but thought I’d share what I did end up shooting. Of course there’s a Mail Pouch Barn. But there’s also some shots of the Paramount Theater, the venue the show was at. The Paramount was an awesome theater that I would have loved to shoot interior shots of, but again, they wouldn’t allow me to take my “professional” camera in even though there were hundreds of people shooting during the show, with “amateur” cameras. There’s also a few shots of downtown Ashland as well.

Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!

Almost Heaven, West Virginia


I’ve been wanting to make a run to West Virginia for quite a while. If you’re a regular on my blog you read in my last post that I headed that way a few weeks back but missed it by a few counties. Finally I decided to go for it on the last Saturday in January. Whenever I go out on one of my photo trips I try my best think about the cost of gas and plan the trip accordingly. This was not one of those well thought out trips! The first three hours were spent driving out route 32, which I had done just the weekend before.

Although I planned this trip to shoot six Mail Pouch barns I had located, as usual I found some other great shots along the way. I ran across the scene above on this old dirt road I probably shouldn’t have been on to begin with. After all I drove through a creek to get to it. I also ran across the Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio. When I saw the sign along Route 32 I thought about a Bob Evans menu I had seen of the Bob Evans logo painted on the side of an old barn so I figured I’d drive the few miles off the main path to check it out. Unfortunately I was let down. Either the barn I had seen on the menu was somewhere else or Photoshop trickery.

Even though I’m glad I finally made my West Virginia trip and had some good captures I have a feeling the “Mountain State” is still on my short list for the next trip. I think it will end up a weekender.

Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!

Not Quite West Virginia


Southeast Ohio Barn

I’ve been wanting to take a trip to shoot West Virginia’s Mail Pouch barns ever since one of my boys gave me a book of Mail Pouch barns in West Virginia shot by Steve Shaluta for Christmas. Last Saturday I was packing up to venture off to “Almost Heaven… West Virginia” when Betsy reminded me we had a “date” at 7:00 that night! So much for West Virginia. Since I already had long johns, 3 shirts, 2 pair of socks and my hiking boots on I decided to head out, with no destination.

I thought I had shot every Mail Pouch barn within a hundred or so miles from home but soon learned not so! I decided to head out Ohio Route 32 east since I hadn’t been out that way. I ended up hitting Highland, Pike, Jackson, Scioto and Adams counties, shooting 6 Mail Pouch barns including re-shooting one that I had shot way back in 2000. That was my first Mail Pouch photo, long before I became obsessed.

Although my goal is to shoot Mail Pouch barns, I usually end up running across so many other great scenes that catch my eye. Those usually end up being the better shots of the day. Like the shot above. I discovered this barn and bails of hay driving up a steep hill in Adams County. It’s one of those shots that just appear. It’s scenes like this that keep me going out on my day-long drives.

By the way, one week later, yesterday,  I made my trip to West Virginia. But since I only hit 2 counties I plan a return weekend long trip soon.

Take a look at the whole gallery here. Enjoy!

Another Preble County Ohio Road Trip


Back in June I did a “Photo Trip” up in the Preble County, Ohio area. If you missed that story you can check it out here.

I thought that I had covered Preble County pretty well until Betsy and I went camping with some of our friends a few weeks back. We camped at Natural Springs Resort outside of New Paris, Ohio and as usual I took a day and went for a “photo trip”. Again, I skipped church! We were camping with some friends from Betsy’s church, Saint Catherine’s and being the “good Catholics” they all are they packed up and went to mass on Sunday and I hit the road.

I only had one goal for this trip. The Geeting covered bridge west of Lewisburg, Ohio. But as luck would have it, my covered bridge shots would not be so easy to come by on that day. As I drove the 40 miles to the bridge the sky darkened as I drove into a storm. It had been quite a while since that part of Ohio had rain but the rainless streak was about to end. Mere moments before I got to the bridge the rain hit. I parked just off the side of the road and ran to the cover of the bridge with my gear to wait it out. After a half an hour of watching a downpour I decided to chance it and grab a few shots. As you’ll see in the gallery I didn’t do so well in capturing the bridge. So after a 40 mile drive and waiting out a rain storm I got nothing. I’ve posted some of the shots, but they’re not the best covered bridge shots I’ve ever done.

The drive back actually turned out to be the highlight of the day. I ran across a Mail Pouch barn that I didn’t expect. Always a good thing in my book! I also found an abandoned farmhouse, again, a good thing! But what turned out to be the find of the weekend was an Obama barn! I’ll try my best to leave out my political leanings but I can say that I found a sign that “counteracted” the Obama barn! Check out the gallery and you’ll find it!

Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!

Mount Vernon Ohio Road Trip


A few weeks back I drove up to Mount Vernon, Ohio to visit the mission trip team from First Christian Church in Fort Thomas. My son, two sisters, three nephews and a niece were on the trip so I thought I’d go up and help put on a picnic for them after a hard days work at a Habitat for Humanity house they were working on.

I decided that I’d take the “long way” and see if I could find some stuff to shoot. Good choice as I found a few Mail Pouch Barns, a covered bridge, an Ohio Bicentennial Barn, and a very cool old church at Bethany College. At one point I drove a half an hour off my route to shoot a Mail Pouch Barn, only to discover it had been “taken” by hurricane Ike. That would be the photo that looks like a pile of lumber!

All in all, it was a great day. Got to visit my hard working and dedicated family members and the rest of the mission team, as well as adding to my Mail Pouch collection.

Here’s the entire gallery. Enjoy!

Agusta, Kentucky Trip


I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I’d throw out this gallery from a quick trip to Augusta Betsy and I took last weekend. Our June is jammed with stuff going on so we thought we had better take the chance to spend some time together while we could. We had talked about Madison, Indiana but have been there a few times so we figured we’d try someplace different. My Mom & Dad have talked about Augusta, Kentucky and how nice it was so we thought we’d give it a shot.

Augusta is a beautiful little river town about an hour south of Fort Thomas. Unfortunately, I think they have missed the mark on being a “day trip” destination. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful, I just expected more of a “Madison, Indiana” or “Yellow Springs, Ohio” feel to it. There’s a couple of nice places to eat, some gift shops, but to me the best part was just walking with Bets along 1st Street looking at the old houses and gardens. Like I said, June is going to be crazy, and May was just as bad so it was nice just to be alone enjoying the “us” time. As a matter of fact, I was enjoying our time alone so much I actually only shot a dozen photos!

I was however excited to find a Bull Durham sign on an old brick building. That was my “shot of the day”, although I think the couple of garden shots are better photos. Take a look and let me know if you agree!

Here’s the small gallery from a great day. Enjoy!