Monday, July 15, 2019

Art, History and Parking Lot Drama

My brother, my niece Jane and I went to Lowe's yesterday, on a minor errand that suddenly became very dramatic. They went into the store while I paused to take this photo. When I finished I began walking toward the door, and I suddenly heard a woman scream in the parking lot. I turned around and there were two older people lying on the ground near the handicapped spaces.

Strangely, my mind immediately told me they were perpetrating some sort of scam. (I suppose this is the city dweller in me.) Still, I ran over to them, as did another woman from another direction. By this time, the man had stood up, but the woman was lying on the ground saying her leg was broken. Apparently the man had tripped on a concrete parking barrier, and fallen into her, knocking her to the ground.

I get first aid training every year at school, so I was trying to think what to do. Ice! But unfortunately, we were in the middle of a sweltering parking lot. There was no ice to be had. I asked her if she could voluntarily move her leg at all, and she could. She eventually felt confident she could stand up with some help, so a few of us (the group had grown by this time) helped her to her feet.

Another young woman came up and said, "I'm an EMT." I thought, THANK GOD! We determined the leg most likely wasn't broken. A Lowe's employee brought a wheelchair from inside the store and we put her in it. We wheeled her over to her car and lifted her in, and the man drove her away, supposedly to the hospital -- the EMT had recommended an x-ray.

I never did see the inside of that Lowe's, which is fine. I've seen 'em before.

Fortunately no one took my name as a witness for the purposes of future legal action.

We went on to lunch at a nearby sub shop, and then drove into downtown Jacksonville. I wanted to see some of the city's numerous murals, but while we were there we checked out some of its history, too.

These are the LaVilla shotgun houses, which are more than 100 years old. The city is storing them for future restoration, but as you can see, they're in pretty rough shape. In fact they're listed among the city's most endangered historic buildings. They were homes for working people in the largely black neighborhood of LaVilla, and called shotgun houses because you could supposedly fire a gun from front to back without hitting any walls.

We also took a closer look at the historic sign on the Maxwell House coffee roasting plant. It lights up at night. If I were more motivated I'd have gone back later for a night shot, but oh well.

And here are some of the murals. This is one of the newer ones, according to my brother. It says, in Latin,  "If the common people want to be deceived, let them be deceived." Or something like that. (I confess -- I used Google Translate, and had to massage the result.)

Jacksonville always has a lively mural scene.

The reclining Buddha!

I got incredibly hot jumping in and out of the car and walking around in parking lots. It was something like 94ยบ F yesterday. Far hotter than I'm used to in England!

I spent the evening with my mom. She asked to go back to the Julington Creek Fish Camp, the restaurant overlooking the marina where we went for lunch on Friday -- so we did. Then, last night, my brother and I went to Bruster's, an ice cream stand where you can get a good-sized cone and hang out on benches beneath trees on a brightly lit patio. It was kind of a retro scene. I expected Suzanne Somers to pull up in a convertible.

Finally, some of you asked to see the frog I bought my nieces. Here it is, in its new home on my brother's patio. They've named it "Fangpuss" after a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character -- I suppose because it appears to have prominent teeth!


gz said...

Love the wall art. The shotgun houses are interesting...and thankfully to be preserved, so much history is lost and ignored

ellen abbott said...

my parents had some friends who lived in a shotgun house in New Orleans, long and narrow one room wide, theirs was two story though. love the murals. Houston has many more murals now than it did before we moved out of the city. and excitement in the parking lot!

Ms. Moon said...

Seems like every town in the south used to have houses that looked just like that. The little shotgun houses that workers were housed in. Jacksonville has a lot of history. More than people realize. And up until integration the black population had its own successful and bustling community with banks, retail, taxi companies...everything that was denied to them to use in the white community. Here's a very interesting article about American Beach which was founded by Abraham Lincoln Lewis, America's first black millionaire.,_Florida

Whoa! That was some parking lot drama. I swear, Glen and I seem to have been witness to far more incidents like this than you would think reasonably possible. Maybe there's just drama going on all the time. Good for you for running to help rather than just running for the phone. It can be scary.
I'm not so sure how I feel about murals. Even really good ones. I seem to have an innate prejudice against them.
I do like Fangpuss though. Good name for a fine frog.

Anonymous said...

That was quite a parking lot encounter. Really kind of you to go over and offer your assistance. Very cool photos, love the murals. It's lovely seeing Florida through your eyes.

Sharon said...

That photo of the shotgun houses triggered a long lost memory from my childhood. My parents were "road-trip" kind of travelers and as a family we went on road trips every summer. I remember going to Florida one year and passing many houses like this with people sitting on the porches and kids playing in the yard. I remember they looked a bit ramshackle way back then. It must have been sometime in the mid 50's and I would have been around 8 to 10 years old.
I'm glad the parking lot drama was resolved without trouble. And, I love Fangpuss. What a great looking frog.
Oh, and that first mural...what a message. Given the number of people who believe everything on Fox News and who think mainstream media are the ones lying, the message is quite profound. There was a very interesting TED talk on NPR yesterday all about digital manipulation. I was particularly grabbed by Carole Cadwalladr's talk about her reporting.

Colette said...

You had quite the exciting day!

Catalyst said...

I like the mural of the reclining Buddha. And the coffee cup. Good for you for helping the lady who fell. In my ancient years I think more about falling than I ever did before.

jenny_o said...

Thank you for the frog picture! That is really a neat frog, and now he has a great name too.

I know from my mom falling that it doesn't take much to really injure an elderly person. My mom had a slight fall in a paved parking lot, and the damage continued to unfold for about six months - bruises that kept spreading and - I suspect, in hindsight - a bit of concussion, not that she struck her head, but from the shaking up of her brain. She didn't remember a lot from that period once she was feeling better. I'm glad you chose compassion; I think it's better to take a chance and be made a fool of than suppress our good instincts.

Sabine said...

Great murals. Now you have to travel to Thailand for the real reclining Buddha.

The Bug said...

I love that first mural - very cool art and timely message! And Fangpuss is fabulous!

John Going Gently said...

U must be tired

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I bet you were gutted when the girls decided to call that frog "Fangpuss" and not Uncle Steve.

Red said...

You packed a lot in one post. Injured or sick people stress me out when I find them. someone in diabetic shock really worries you.

David said...

Love the wall art! And Fangpuss really does have an intriguing smile (for a frog).

e said...

That was quite the adventure. It sounds like this visit has been a Good one.I am glad the shotgun homes are being preserved.

37paddington said...

great murals. I've always been intrigued by shotgun houses.