Return To Sender

We started off with some lofty plans for Gary, seeing the schools and Screw and Nail that I hadn't been to yet, but between the late arrival, the surprising September heat, and not having slept much all weekend our eventual strategy consisted of exploring everything in sight. The next thing we saw after the half theater was the post office, and the door was still open, so in we went. Either I didn't notice all this last time or it's new: ...and perhaps still in progress? The robots came and destroyed any need for this facility. At one time there…

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All Things Go, All Things Know

After the hospital, with my camera completely useless, we didn't even try to explore anything else in Memphis, and just wandered back toward Beale street for some blues halls. Which was much easier said than done, in a typical city in the American South: not particularly designed for pedestrians, or even supportive of those who chose not to drive around for whatever reason. At first we thought it would be a pleasant walk along the river, but all we found there was steep slopes, thick brush, and the scattered flour of hashers, which of course Ben wouldn't follow even when…

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School of Fail

After our legendary Gary winning streak, the only thing left we were looking for was a school. We tried a few on the east side on the first day, but not with very much luck. It seemed like the boarding crew were there not too long ago, and the only people in since were climbers who made entrances that would probably last a while, but also excluded less athletic explorers. We did some research into why the schools might be so tough, and found that the district and state still somewhat maintain them, even though almost half the schools in…

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God Is Not Dead, Nor Doth He Sleep

...but then, what exactly was this place? God's Rest Home, I must say, seemed like an absolutely dismal place to live out one's last years, in a rotting brick building in the midst of a decaying city battered by the bleak Midwestern climate. After that place, our fifteenth successful explore of the day, we finally lost our daylight and got up to a roof for a few last shots of the city ...and eventually returned to our parking space from which we could wander around to all of this, right next to the church where it all began I decided…

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Where The Stores Are All Closed

[continued from part 5] Just like everywhere else in Gary, all it took was a quick look around the block to find yet more places to explore. Above and next to the theater there were more storefront-type places that weren't all that interesting on their own, but did still have a few products left, and this idyllic mural -- could this have been Gary in its early days? There isn't much of a village left here, but who knows, maybe Gary will rise again someday... I didn't have to go far to find still more abandonment, this time an entire…

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It’s A Cold And It’s A Broken Hallelujah

After lunch and a few more failed attempts at hospitals and schools, our wanderings brought us to another unassuming church, the "Miracle Faith Word Center". Judging just from the name, it seemed to be of the charismatic, if not Pentecostal, type: the kind of church that began with one minister and his flock and with the right combination of generous donations, fire, brimstone and praise the Lord Hallelujah AMEN! could have joined the ranks of televised megachurches. This one, though, followed the opposite trajectory, disappearing altogether and leaving its building behind not for a sparkling new tabernacle, but for first…

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