Friday, June 7, 2013

Madison, Florida, 1987

That's me, in November, 1987, in a photo taken by my friend Suzanne. At the time, we were both college students at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and one of our favorite activities -- as I'm sure I've written here before -- was to hop into Suzanne's orange Volkswagen bug and take off on road trips around the state. On this particular occasion we were in Madison, Florida, a small town in the panhandle.

For some reason, I got to thinking about this photograph the other day. I wondered about the old Coke sign. (In my memory I'd changed it to a Sprite sign, I suppose because of the little sprite-like character.) Did it still exist?

As I've done in the past when I ponder such questions, I took to Google Street View to find out. I vaguely remembered the location of this drug store, and it didn't take me long to find it on Street View. (Madison's not very big!) It's now a florist -- and lo and behold, the sign is still there.

Of course, this is a crappy Google picture. I thought surely there must be some better ones floating around out there on the Interwebs. And yes, there are -- here and here for example.

Pretty cool, huh? I'm so glad the sign has been preserved.

Those road trips with Suzanne were always great adventures. We drove the smaller blue highways, listened to our mix tapes of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez and Elvis Costello, drank coffee and went thrift shopping in every small-town Goodwill and Salvation Army store we could find. And took pictures, of course. Pretty much a perfect way to spend time, as far as I'm concerned!

In August 2010 I posted another photo from this same road trip, along with some other old pictures taken from film negatives. I'm not likely to get back to Madison anytime soon -- it's not close to any part of Florida that I routinely visit -- so I'm glad the Interwebs could answer this question for me!


37paddington said...

I love seeing that photo of you with the sign. I looked back at that art history post and was struck by the fact that every one of those photos, though unfiltered, is in the Instagram school in terms of subject, composition, color etc. you're ahead of the curve as usual!

Elizabeth said...

I agree with Angella -- there's something very interesting about your constant eye -- somehow you are always careful and thoughtful and restrained, and always in your photos is this underlying surprise. Does that make sense?

Ms. Moon said...

Ah, Madison is just a hop, skip, and away from here. You were a darling boy. I wish we could have been friends then although I would have been older.

Lynne said...

Love this photo of you with the sign! How great that they preserved it too. You should have this one framed, honestly.

ellen abbott said...

google maps street views is an amazing thing.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is really cool. I love the way you take us across time with your pics. You've done this before, as when you showed us pics before an after street art pics.


You were and are so adorable.

The Bug said...

This would be a cool picture to blow up to life size & put on the wall of a diner somewhere :)

e said...

Gosh, it's been a long time...I remember when you had hair...You were and are still cute!

Anonymous said...

That is very cool!

Nancy said...

Your photos are so spiritual; they speak to something inside me. Thanks for sharing them... Darling Boy. :)

Steve Reed said...

Angella: You know, I never thought of those old photos in an Instagram kind of way -- but you're right, they do have that feel! Isn't it funny how back then I had to take them with film and get them developed, blah blah blah, and now I could just pop them with my phone?

Elizabeth: Thanks so much for saying that. I do try to "compose" my photos and I value artful composition, so I appreciate your noticing!

Ms Moon: I thought of you when I posted this! Next time you're in Madison you'll have to check out this sign. We would have gotten along well even back then, I'm sure!

Lynne: Unfortunately I only have the small print. I wish I had a negative to make an enlargement.

Ellen: Isn't it? I can't get enough of it. I love Street View. I look at it for fun!

Reya: Thanks. I certainly didn't feel adorable at that age!

Bug: That might be a little TOO big. :)

E: Yeah, remember that hair? It was pretty sparse even then. :)

Helene: Thanks. :)

Nancy: I'm glad they connect with you! That's my goal!

Anonymous said...

I remember that day and the photograph well. Mayo Fl and eating lunch a the Dew Drop In. In fact I am starting the process of scanning photos and negatives, and happened upon this photo. The community fund, Don sleeping in the back seat, and the music.