My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pretending to be a photographer...

Sigh... Ever have one of those days? I can't take pictures worth a damn anyway, but usually can console myself with the knowledge that I can at least improve them marginally with Corel. But I am having problems getting my Corel to work. You know what I need? I need a full time tech support person with me at all times. I wonder how much that would run...

In any event, I wanted to take some pictures of the 34th Street wall in Gainesville. You're going to have to live with them warts and all.

I can't get a picture of the entire wall, it's too long, and 34th Street curves. But it's over 1000 feet long and serves as an outlet for people (mostly UF students) to express themselves.

Unfortunately, yesterday morning when I went over to take pictures, the graffiti did not seem to be particularly inspiring or well done. Sometimes there is some amazing work on the wall. This was not one of those times. But I'll be damned if I'm going to get up early and dodge traffic again.

A few months ago The Gainesville Sun did a piece on how thick the paint was on the wall. The consensus after some testing was that it was at least a half inch thick in some places, and closer to an inch thick in others.

Those of you who were living in Florida may remember the horrific Gainesville student murders committed by Danny Rolling in August of 1990. This section of the wall serves as a memorial to the five slain students. Sonja Larson's name is covered by the vegetation. The memorial has been up since shortly after the murders. Frequently it is painted over by students either ignorant or indifferent to the significance of this section, and it is always repainted by other citizens. Currently one of the UF fraternities has taken it on as pet project, and restores it when needed.

This is where Corel would have come in handy. Damn it. A number of years ago the city put up this little garden memorial in the center of 34th Street to serve as a more permanent memorial to the students. Each of the five palm trees in the backround bears the name of a murdered student.

Here is the memorial from the other side. This is Sonja Larson's tree.

As you might expect, Gator graffiti is abundant.

OK, I have subjected you to enough of what a charitable person might describe as "meager" photography skills. But I wanted to do a post about the wall, and at least I got it out of my system.

If you want to check out a real photog, do yourself a favor and click on over to my friend Lorraine's site. She takes awesome pictures. Plus she recently had a birthday. I think she turned 54, isn't that right, Lorraine? Heh heh.


Blogger A Bottle Of Red said...

Out here in Virginia redneck towns they do that to water towers and bridges.

SOme neat stuff there though. I think what got me more interested was the idea of some one taking pictures of you taking the pictures..LOL

4:06 PM  
Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I think the shots are very cool. I don't know Corel that well (worked with it years ago), but try using photoshop. You should practise a bit. Go on.. Experiment!

4:22 PM  
Blogger threecollie said...

The pictures seem fine to me. Not easy to get such a long stretch and get it clear at the same time. I liked this post.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Jaws--Ah yes, the age old rural tradition of painting water towers LOL

CS--I know, I know! LOL. You are not gonna rest until I take the wrapping off that box, are you? :)

ThreeCollie--Thanks! This is one of my few normal posts, I think! :)

5:49 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Key said...

You published Lorraine's (fictional?) age on your blog?

I think she be breakin' her foot off in your ass, mister!

6:11 PM  
Blogger peebugg said...

very cool. Way above the average tagger here in redneck ville where spelling is optional...

I think the memorial is an awesome thing.....

And your camera skills aren't as bad as you think!!!

9:09 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Finally got your post, posted eh! My powers are with you! *grin*

10:20 PM  
Blogger marty said...

For my next vacation, London or Gainsville? Paris or Gainsville? The French Riviera or Gainsville?

I have a lot of tough decisions to make.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous dreamwalker said...

There is some good stuff interspersed among the grunge!! I am a (good) graffiti fan.

I particularly like the idea of thet memorial section...and the 5 trees. I had not heard of those murders, believe it or not.

"...had him locked away while they built their case around him." I find these stories disquieting..judged guilty by the police and damned. He was lucky the real killer was found or he would probably been tried and convicted.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Cool photos the graffiti. Amateur, my foot...talking about my foot, well I couldn't say it better than Anne did!!!
54??? Please that is wayyyy younger than I felt the next day!
Be real, oh hell, just be fabulous, as you always are! Damn it, now I have to come up with a spectacular photo (just for today)

3:23 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Anne--Hey, people are waiting in line to break their foot off in my ass!

Peebugg--Believe me, and pictures that came out good were complete accidents!

Tracy--You work in mysterious ways...

Marty--I know! I don't envy you the decision...

Dreamwalker--We didn't move here until 6 years after the murders, but there were still people in town sleeping with guns under thier pillow.

Lorraine--Heck, you come up with spectacular photos EVERY day!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

I liked your pictures!

Very cool!

6:45 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

This actually reminded me of the eastern gallery of the Berlin Wall that we saw last year. So much passion and pathos.

Your pictures reviewed it well, Mr. Fab!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I am usually a lurker on your site, but this post drew me out. Part of my family lives in Gainesville and I remember when the murders happened. I stayed on the campus shortly after the they happened and the murderer was not caught yet, very spooky.

I always thought that wall was cool and am a born and raised Gator fan.

Enjoy your blog.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

Those are great pictures! Thank you for sharing, because I haven't been to Florida, but at least now I know there is a famous wall.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Wow, how cool to come across photos from the 34th street wall. We lived in G'ville for about 15 years before moving to Tampabay, but we still have a house there.
I remember when the murders occurred and I think it's great that the one section of the wall is still intact in their memory. Thanks to the UF fraternities for taking on the task of keeping it up.
Great picts! Show more of G'ville if you get a chance!

7:44 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...


Ginnie--It felt weird to do a normal post for a change!

Kim--Thanks for the kind words, and go Gators!

Lynda--My pleasure :)

Laura--That's a good idea, I should take more pics...

9:17 PM  

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