And here we go:

The Fair is planned a good deal in advance, so I don’t think this is Barbie influenced, but holy crow:

That’s in the Horticulture building (but you can’t make them think) and I was there a day early to interview someone about his seed sacks.

I like going the day before it opens, flashing my badge and strolling in as one of the Elect, the Inner Party who can roam about when the grass is still untrampled and everything’s fresh. Also, nothing is open. Also, it’s hot MY GOD so hot, miserable, actually, where’s some shade? Some water? This is horrible and it’s only ten AM, I hate this

There’s always a really hot day that feels like summer at its most pitiless and strong, and coming at the end of the summer it wipes out the thought of imminent fall.

But for now, it’s all mine! Behold, the mostly empty space between Cafe Caribe and the bathrooms!

It’ll be thronged when the Fair is open, since the smoking section is at the end of the walkway, and it’s the route to the Poultry Barn and the barns beyond.

It’s sooooo Minnesota, ya know?

If you’re not a reggae fan this seems an odd thing for the Minnesota State Fair, especially since there is absolutely nothing Caribbean about any of this, but on the other hand, who cares. It’s been a fixture since 1998.

Speaking of fixtures:

Is that a rehabbed unit, or some new machine that paid whoever owns the brand? The latter.

If you know your Fair, you know exactly where I am standing.

There’s only one clue but it’s enough, and it fixes me precisely at one place that cannot be anywhere else.

More tomorrow; I'm hitting the stage at 10:30 AM.











El Dorado, again?

El Dorado, Kansas. Two visits, so it must be quite a bountiful source of Main Streets delights.

1 Ah, here’s the reason I came here in the first place.

Practically unchanged.

The old words seem determined to fight their way back into the light.

I can only hope it’s the phone company.

The beams bolted to the boring box do their best to add some character, but there’s none to be had.

The classic old strange garage design, which always makes you wonder if they knocked down the walls and windows at a later point.

It seems unwise if that’s the case, in terms of structural integrity.

I can see why they don’t touch it up, given the height and difficulty of covering the entire surface

(Not serious.)

Surely it was a bank.

A post-war bank, with the blank stone as a sign of modernity. Now the Salvation Army.

Empty name-block, and a busted piece of stone on the top on the left.

El Dorado is not exactly knocking us over so far, is it. Well, you know the thing about the two-folder visits. Second could be so completely different! Or even worse.


I’d say it’s your usual disrespectful treatment, but to be fair there wasn’t much here in the first place.

Ugly rehab, but at least the top is well-preserved. Do you know what it was?


Says this site, quoting, I assume, a local paper:


Much of this is Due to the Foresight and Industry of South Main Street Business Men Who have Erected Six new Structures in Past Few Months

The formal opening of the Smith Angle Motor Company’s new home at 115 West Olive Avenue tomorrow, marks an outstanding achievement in the steady march of progress that is characteristic of El Dorado. Much of this progress is due to the foresight and industry of the South Main Street business men who have built six new buildings and established four new businesses during the past few months.

The new Smith-Angle building is outstanding among these enterprises as it was the largest undertaking of the group and has made room available for an additional business on South Main Street. This business is the Graves Drug Company’s third store which occupies the building formerly used as the Buick agency.


Auto dealer, insurance man, banker, oil investor. “One of the best liked and most dependable citizens of Butler County.”

Name-block on the cheap.

Nice big windows, though. What the hell is that thing on the street?

Nicely maintained, but I don’t like the Mr. Ed aesthetic.

Not the most graceful tops, but you’re grateful that they tried: it cost more, and it added to the streetscape.



Well, how the hell do they get upstairs now?

The El Dorado theater. Has to be a reason the shot’s so cramped; limitations of the Streetview source, perhaps.

Obligatory Cinematreasures link, which says when it was built, and what was the first movie, etc etc etc.

Say, what’s this stand for?

Ah: the theater is part of a big commercial structure, as was occasionally the case. Okay, now I do have to look at the cinema treasures link.

Built in 1921. It was still open in 1956, but had closed by 1957. The building is now home to a cafe.

Also ghosts. Or not. (The answer is “not,” but this page has lots of pictures and videos.)

That’s a good place to stop; I think things are looking up for next week’s folder.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do; motels await.



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