My other half drives a truck for Mid-America Feed. He delivers grain to farmers and ranchers in northeast Oklahoma and southern Kansas. My other half likes cars. Old cars. Old restored cars. On one of his feed runs to southern Kansas, he goes through the small town of Caney, where there is a garage dolled up with automobile memorabilia and restored classic cars. He never gets to stop and look. It drives him crazy. He has been telling me for almost a year now that we need to drive up there and check it out so I can take some pictures. (The ones he has taken with his phone while driving bumpily by at 35mph aren’t good enough apparently.) So, a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, he got what he had been begging for. We packed up the teenagers and my camera and away we went up highway 169 to highway 10 to highway 75 and into Caney, Kansas.
Before getting to highway 75, we drove through the tiny town of Wann, Oklahoma. I was taking in all the sights and my keen eye spotted an old, decrepit and vacant school. “Stop the car!” I figured I ought to be able to get some photographs of things I liked on this trip, too. My other half obliged and pulled over as far as he could on the narrow street. I got out and grabbed my camera. This crumbling old schoolhouse did not disappoint. I shot off a couple of wide shots of the whole building and then went in for the kill. Old peeling paint on a knobless door. Perfect! An abstract. More shots were fired off. Then I rounded the corner of the building and found a pink wall with more peeling paint. A bright green vine snaked upwards and an old forgotten workbench sat next to it. Beautiful!
I really love the way these shots turned out. I think I will have a couple of them blown up. On canvas. Then hang them on my walls. I have lots of empty white walls in my house. This probably seems strange, me proclaiming to be a photographer and all and not having my own art hanging in my home. Yeah. Let’s just say that large art is expensive and my other half’s taste clashes with mine. We both like empty white walls, I guess.
Back to the roadtrip. It was getting hot. My other half and the teenagers were getting impatient. I went back to the car and we headed up the road into Kansas.
Gary’s Garage sits on a corner right on Highway 75. You can’t miss it. Old cars and gas pumps litter the lawn. We turned onto the side street and pulled into the parking lot. The museum (yes, it’s referred to as a museum) entrance is in the rear. We walked in and my other half’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. He was in muscle car heaven!
There were four restored cars inside along with a plethora of antiques, including license plates, washing machines, tools, toys and these old glass oil cans that I thought were pretty cool.
We were greeted by a friendly old man who knew everything there was to know about the stuff inside that museum. It wasn’t long before a couple of his buddies joined him. They would have talked to us all day if we had stayed that long. The teenagers wanted a souvenir. The old man gave each of them an old Kansas license plate. They were happy. We went outside and did some more looking. There was a restored 1950 Chevy truck in the yard with painted flames coming off the hood. My other half was in love! I will admit, it was pretty sweet. I took more pictures.
Even though I love this shot, I have decided that I need a polarizing filter. And a tripod. And a new camera body. Oh, sorry. Off track again. Back to the road trip.
We were getting hungry so finally said our goodbyes to the old men and thanked them for the tour. We got in our car and drove back into Oklahoma where we stopped in Dewey for lunch. If you are ever in Dewey, OK, eat at the Ahava Cafe. They have some awesome sandwiches! Dewey looks like another town I would like to explore when I have more time. I’ll probably leave the other half and the teenagers at home. Well, maybe I’ll take the teenagers. They don’t get out much.
I hope you have enjoyed your short visit to Gary’s Garage in Caney, Kansas. If you are ever in these parts, you really should stop in and look around. Gary adds new things to the decor all the time. And the good ol’ boys will make sure you have a good ol’ time!