Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back to the Secret Playground of Vicksburg

My previous post on the Secret Playground of Vicksburg generated a lot of interest, so I thought I would take another look. This is early June, spring is in full blast, and the jungle is engulfing the site. It is a stroll down poison ivy lane to reach the playground equipment.
From what I can tell, no one has cut grass or done any other work for at least a year.
Just around the corner from the playground on Wisconsin Avenue, a fellow parked a classic Volkswagen Beetle on the grass about five years ago. And there it sat, year after year, slowly rusting and moldering. Originally it was in running condition. I once asked him about it, and he said he was going to restore it. Last week it was gone, and he said he had the tin man take it away. Pity.
He also had an old camper in the woods. He dismantled the camper part, leaving the cab as sort of an odd-looking pickup truck. You see a lot of unusual things like this in Vicksburg.  A few days later, even the cab and chassis were gone.
Just at the corner of Wisconsin and Confederate Avenues is Toots' Gro. This venerable establishment has been in business for decades and has an active lunch crowd. The CocaCola sign in the first photograph was identical to two or three others painted around town. The local bottler (now closed) may have been trying to invoke the old-time look to their advertisements. The sign is still there, but faded.
Confederate Avenue is worth exploring - park and walk around. This was once National Military Park property, but many years ago, the City and the National Park Service exchanged land, and this part of Confederate Avenue is now city-owned. But the statues and plaques remain in place. Some are in the woods almost hidden.

The playground photos were with a Fuji X-E1 digital camera with a Leitz 50 mm f/2 Summitar lens. The automobile photographs were taken with a Panasonic G3 camera with 14-45 mm Lumix zoom lens. The odd red color on the VW came from the Kodachrome 25 simulation in  DxO Filmpack 3, with the intensity slider at 100%. The photographs of Toots' Grocery are scans of color slides, taken with a Leica M3 camera. The bearded soldier is a crop from a Kodachrome slide.

Update March 2017: Toots Grocery is closed and the building is for sale.

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