Nara Visa, New Mexico
I love to travel the two lane highways going through small towns, some abandoned and some no more then a house and a bar. There is something so interesting about seeing how people live in desolate areas. There is a history there and I am curious.
Today I was able to stop in Nara Vis, New Mexico on highway 54 , just south of the Texas-New Mexico border. The town was once a railroad town and boasted 3500 residents. It has been basically abandoned since the early 1970's. The town is now surrounded by cattle ranches generationally owned. What is left of the town is now nothing more than a post office. What lays in ruin are the remnants of old business; a bar, a motel, restaurant and a filling station. It was intriguing so I had to stop, explore and shoot.
There was an old gas station with windows were busted out, but still housed an old De Soto and another car that I could not really tell what it was. My best guess would be a late 60's something. The station sign could not be read but the pumps are Sinclaire.
I walked down the street looking in windows and clicking photos as I walked. A guy approached me, we spoke and he informed me that the building I was looking in was his. He was a woodcarver. I entered his studio that was more museum than studio. Old rusty tools hanging on the walls, antiques, each of them. He had several works around and told me how he got started as a wood carver.
He gave me a brief history of the town, his life and the story of the old bar next door. I asked for permission to "explore" the old bar, it was not his but he said I could go check it out.
There was still(empty) booze bottles lined up across the across the back of the bar. Beer bottles were everywhere. The ceiling had seen better days as had the pool table. As I walked around the place was stuck in time. An old beer bottle caught my eye. Next to it was an eight track tape of Barbra Mandell -classic 1980. Back in the day she was something. It was a time capsule.
I spent a few more minutes shooting the old stove and phone book. Walked back to the wood carver and joined in on a conversation between Mark and him. I took a few pictures of him, thanked him for his service (Vietnam Vet) shook hands and left.
This is my favorite part of travel, driving, meeting interesting people and shooting great art.
A great beginning to 2021.