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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

My Own Mail Pouch Barn (Kind Of)


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My oldest child just became my favorite!

If you know me or anyone in my family, you know we’ve had a rough past month. If you don’t know us please visit NKYHatesHeroin.Com and you’ll understand what we’ve gone through and how we’re responding to it.

So I go back to my oldest child, Chris. Chris could have taken care of at least 5 birthdays, and a couple of Christmases worth of presents if he had kept this from me. But instead he told me a while back that City BBQ in Hyde Park (Chris works for City BBQ) was soon going to be closing. Since I had been to the Hyde Park location I knew they had a painting of a Mail Pouch Barn on their wall. I wanted it! I’m sure if you ask Chris he’ll tell you I’d driven him nuts by calling at least once a week asking if he knew when the store was going to close. So about a week ago I get a call from him telling me he’d asked about the painting and he’d been told they decided to move it to their new store opening out in Cold Spring by Northern Kentucky University. I was upset to say the least!

Then a day later he told me he had talked to them again about the painting and they decided not to use it in the new store. Sweet!

So Chris told me I had to get it on September 11 or 12. Needless to say I was in the store on the 11th scoping out my plan of attack. I looked over the situation and decided to come back on the 12th and remove the painting. A screw gun, prybar and and a hammer would be all I needed. Let me tell you whoever put that barn siding up must have been a farmer that has built barns in the past because it took over an hour to get it off the wall! I know there were over 150 screws. I get an hour for lunch and I used every bit of it plus some to get from work, teardown the siding, load the truck and back. And I was sweating, dirty and smelled bad! To top it off, I had a client meeting at 3:00.

All said and done, I have my very own Mail Pouch Barn! Needless to say, Betsy is a bit concerned about the whole thing. I came home from work, unloaded and started pulling nails out. I wanted so bad to see it again I decided to lean it up against the house, which didn’t make her all to happy, but I must say that I had at least a half dozen people stop and ask about it.

I haven’t decide yet what I’m going to do with my Mail Pouch Barn, I can only assume it’s going to be displayed in the basement, I don’t know why, but that seems to be the only place Betsy will allow it.

Christopher has made my day, my month. If you know me you’ll understand and if you don’t, you’ll think I’m a goofball, but this is so very cool to me. Thanks Chris!

If you’re like me and appreciate the “Days Gone By” with family rides out in the country seeing the old barn advertising then you’ll appreciate my Mail Pouch Barn galleries.

WEBN Fireworks – 2013




The first time I photographed the WEBN Fireworks was back in 1981 while I was home on leave from the Air Force. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I was on the bank of the Ohio in front of what was Helen’s Newport Yacht  Club where just four years earlier my family watched the very first display from the Yacht club on our family cabin cruiser, the Lazy River. Newport Yacht Club was located right below what is now Newport on the Levee. That night I showed up with 2 USAF issued tripods and 2 Nikon F5′s. I ended up shooting 10 rolls of Kodak E-6 slide film and 4 rolls of Kodak Kodachrome. I ended up entering a photo contest on Minot Air Force Base, and winning with an image I shot that night on the riverbank. The same photo went on to win 5 levels of competition up to and including the Department of Defense photo contest! I still have the slides from that night in a sleeve in my office.

Little did I know I wouldn’t shoot the fireworks again for 22 years. With various Air Force assignments, raising a young family, and many years of family camping trips and bluegrass festivals I just never had time for the fireworks.

In 2010 my normal Labor Day weekend bluegrass festival was cancelled so I thought I shoot the big end of summer celebration again. This time with no limitations on film due to the fact I was now shooting digital, I stood within 50 feet of my first shooting location and went to work. With Helen’s Newport Yacht Club long gone and the city long ago having decided it was best for pleasure boats to stay a safe distance away, I have no obstructions so I sat myself right on the riverbank. My feet were actually in the water. Once I started setting up I wished I had not missed all those years as I was really getting pumped to shoot. Apparently I have a knack for shooting fireworks because that year I entered and won the WEBN photo contest!

So with visions of prizes such as a stack of coupons to local fast food joints, some WEBN stickers and a WEBN calendar with my winning photo on it, I went to shoot again this year. But merely sitting on the banks was not an option this year. I had higher goals for my shooting location. Which turned into a morning of scouting my locations. One, the deck of the  John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge… close, but not a good shot of the down low fireworks. The second choice was on top of Newport Central Catholic High School… absolutely incredible view, but everyone knows you haven’t really seen the fireworks if you’re a couple of miles away. My third choice, no contest, was the rooftop of Newport on the Levee. Barnes & Noble to be exact. I won’t mention how I came to be able to shoot from any of those locations as I would never give up my “connections” and share the awesome locations with fellow shooters. After all, I have another contest to win!

Although I truly don’t shoot the fireworks to “win contest” I have to admit I’m editing and sending some of this year’s shots along to the folks at WEBN. The main reason I shoot them is the same reason I shoot any of my photographs… I’m totally relaxed when I shoot photographs. I’m in my own little world, whether it be out on a long Saturday drive shooting old barns or in the middle of a half million people watching fireworks, I’m by myself!

Here’s the entire gallery from the 2013 WEBN Fireworks. Enjoy!

Sign Garage



Again, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a new gallery to BluegrassPhotography.Net. The lack of galleries posted to this page is not due to lack of shooting, just busy with life’s other priorities.

Yesterday was one of those days that I felt like I just had to get out and shoot some pictures. Life’s been pretty hectic over the past few weeks, lots going on at White Design Studio, and lots going on in the family. So I have been yearning to “hit the road and shoot”. My great escape.

Where to go, and what to shoot is always a challenge for me. I feel like I’ve shot every barn in a 100 mile radius, certainly every Mail Pouch barn. No bluegrass nearby to shoot either. So I decided to hit the web and search local events for the weekend. Google once again came through… Rising Sun Indiana was having their “A Roar of Thunder Regatta”. So like many of “photo trips” in the past, I was off to the Hoosier state!

As it turns out, the gallery I’m sharing today has nothing to do with speeding boats on the Ohio River. While driving along Route 50 on my way to Rising Sun, a trip I’ve made hundreds of times, I saw a local business I’ve told myself every time I pass, “I need to shoot that someday”. Again as I passed it I figured I’d shoot it at some point. So after shooting 8,200 photos at the regatta (for some time lapse photography testing) I decided it was time to shoot what I’ll call the “Sign Garage”. If you’ve read any of my posts on this page or looked through my galleries you’ll know I love old signs. This garage on Route 50 is a sign lovers paradise! Something you’d see in an episode of American Pickers. When I used to collect old signs I’d always look for perfect signs in perfect condition, but as I’ve grown older I really have grown to appreciate the worn looking signs. Like me, they show their age!

Take a look at these old beauties and reflect on the good ol’ days of taking country rides in the family station wagon. If you have no clue what I’m referring to, you’ve missed out in a great slice of life!

Here’s the entire gallery… Enjoy!

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!


Lanthier Winery, Madison, Indiana


It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a new gallery so I thought I’d catch up.

First off, I’m not a wine drinker, and I normally don’t care to shoot flowers. So I decided to go out of my comfort zone this past June while camping at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana. I visited the Lanthier Winery AND shot photographs of flowers! The one glass of wine I drank was good. I won’t pretend to know anything about wine and write a half-baked wine critique, but I will have to say, the winery grounds are absolutely beautiful. If you’re a wine lover or a garden lover this place is for you. Here’s a link to their website.

As far as the photography goes, I obviously have a long way to go in shooting flowers but it was fun giving it a shot.

Here’s a link to the entire gallery. Enjoy!

Dogs Days of Summer Art Fair


Looking for something to do this weekend? Visit BluegrassPhotography.Net at the 3rd Annual Dog Days of Summer Art Fair in beautiful Rabbit Hash, Kentucky! I’ve been busy wrapping lots of new canvas prints so even if you’ve been to one of my shows there will be lots of new stuff to see. And since Rabbit Hash is a great place to shoot I’ll of course have lots of photos from right there in the lazy little town on the Ohio.

Fair dates and times:
Saturday, July 28th, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, July 29th, from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM

And don’t forget to pass this along to all your friends and family!

Hope to see your there!

Occupy West Virginia?


On a recent photo trip to West Virginia I ran across a group of “Occupiers”! Right out in the middle of West By God Virginia.

Now I don’t want this to be a political or social commentary, and I’m sure you don’t care to hear my opinions. So to keep that mess to a minimum I’ll just say as a whole I think the occupiers we’ve all seen on the nightly news lack a concise, consistent message. They can’t say what they want as a group, but offer up a ton of varying objectives and goals. That said…

As I’m driving through the hills of West Virginia on a hunt for old Mail Pouch barns I pass an “encampment” with all kinds of tents, campers and signs. One of which caught my eye more than the rest. “Occupy West Virginia” it said. It mildly interested me, but I had barns to find.

About a mile or so down the road my curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to turn around and check it out. So I pull up and start shooting and a woman walks up and asks, “who you with?”. I’m thinking to myself, “well, it’s just me”, but I explained I’m not “with” anyone, knowing I was about to get the story even though I wasn’t with the press. As it turns out she’s the local union president for an aluminum workers union. She explained that they are at arms with the local aluminum plant and they are going to “change” things by occupying that particular location, which happens to be right outside the gate of the plant.

So now I’m thinking “Great, now I get to hear a bunch of union workers complain about working conditions and such”. But I figured I stopped so I might as well listen. I couldn’t have been more wrong though. I was introduced to a group of retired aluminum workers. Men that had worked very hard for as many as 30 years. They were gruff metal working men and their years of hard work were exposed on their faces and in their hearts. One man told me they had recently lost their health insurance that they had been contracted to receive once retired. He explained that the next day he would be receiving his retirement check and three quarters of it was to go toward health insurance. He said that less than 6 months earlier his check covered food, shelter and the typical bills we all have, but now that they had broken the contract he was in dire straits to pay his bills.

As I was pulling up I was thinking the worst of those people yet I ended up listening and learning. Maybe I should be more open to other people’s thoughts and opinions? Maybe we all should?

Here’s a small gallery of the shots from my visit. 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!