Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Urbex: Up Shots!

Stand in one place near an abandoned building and look up.  Take the shot.  Some of the most interesting pictures are of the building looking straight up.  Here are some of my pictures of the Hayden Flour Mill and other places:

Hayden Flour Mill

Hayden Flour Mill

Bee Apartments, Miami, AZ

Vulture Mine, AZ

Tombstone, AZ

Old Globe Jail

Globe, AZ

Globe, AZ

Slaughterhouse, Casa Grande, AZ

Payson, AZ

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1978 Plane Crash Near A University

1978 crash scene
On October 26, 1978, two Uof A students were killed when a military plane crashed near the University of Arizona on 6th Street and Highland Avenue in Tucson, AZ.  Six others near the intersection were injured.  The site is located near where the Recreation Center stands today.  According to eyewitnesses, the jets usually fly low over the campus to land in nearby Davis Monthan Air Force Base.  On this particular day, the jet was flying much lower than usual when they heard a popping sound and saw the pilot ejecting from the plane.  This was followed by a loud boom and a huge fire ball.  Today a crater can be seen in the middle of 6th Street as a reminder of that tragic event.  

This was not the first time a military plane crashed in that location.  In 1967, four people were killed when it crashed into the supermarket they were shopping in.  There are rumors that the spirits of those killed can be seen in some of the areas on campus.

The intersection today

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Historic: Hayden Flour Mill

For more than 14 years, the Hayden Flour Mill stood abandoned in Tempe, Arizona.  With the help of volunteers and funds raised, the outside of the mill has been restored.  The chain link fence which surrounded the place has been taken down for people to check out the grounds of this historic site.  The inside of the mill is still going through renovation but visitors can peak in the doors and windows to get a glimpse of the construction.  Eventually, there will be shops, restaurants, and a place to watch movies, see a concert, and even to get married inside the walls of the old mill.  With its location near Arizona State University and the Tempe’s Town Lake, the Hayden Flour Mill will be the hotspot for locals and visitors alike.

In 1874, the first mill was an adobe building and held the sacks of flour on the second floor. It was well known around the Arizona Territory for hauling products in freight wagons and pack-trains to all the surrounding mining camps and military posts.  They estimated that over a million dollars worth of products went through the mill.  The Salt River Pima Indians grew wheat which was taken to the mill by horseback and traded for supplies.  The mill became the main trade hub for all of the south side of the Salt River Valley.

On July 10, 1918, after the old adobe building burnt down, a concrete mill was built in its place by J. C. Steele.  The massive silos were the biggest undertaking for Steel who constructed them of cast-in-place concrete post, beams, and integral slabs.  By October 10, 1984, the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The mill ceased all operations on April 1, 1998, and the Hayden Flour Mill and silos were left abandoned until about 14 years later when it was finally renovated.

I got the opportunity to visit this fantastic historic site and was thrilled at how rustic it still is.  The grounds were full of flowers, bushes trees, and a groomed grass lawn.  We could not get in the inside of the mill because it was locked up for renovation.  However, we could see in the building where old rusty machines and a huge safe still stand in the location where they were once in use.  I took tons of pictures and will be sharing them in this post and a couple of other posts to follow.  Also, Sharon is trying to find a way for us to get inside and possibly do a ghost hunt.  There are lots of rumors that the old mill is haunted.  I hope we get the opportunity to find out.  If we can't do a ghost hunt, we would love to get pictures of the inside.

Monday, June 18, 2012

ALF: Alien Life Form

His name was Gordon Shumway, born on October 28, 1756, and stands around 3 feet tall.  He doesn’t look like your typical person because he is not human.  His body is covered with burnt orange hair or fur, and his face has a long snout with moles.  His heart is located in his head and he has eight stomachs with an appetite for cats.  His home planet is Melmac which is many light years away from Earth.  He grew up on the Lower East Side of the planet and hung with his girlfriend, Rhonda, and best friend, Skip.  He managed to graduate high school after 122 years and participated in sports such as Bouillabaisseball where he was the captain of his team.  Then one day, Gordon’s life completely changed forever.

While flying around the galaxies looking for lint, gravel, and foam, which are precious commodities for Melmacian survival, Gordon followed an amateur radio signal which leads him to Earth.  He ends up crash landing in a suburban neighborhood and right into the Tanner family’s garage.  The Tanners consist of parents, Willie and Kate, and their two kids, Lynn and Brian.  They live in the San Fernando Valley and Willie is a social worker.  The entire family was in the garage when ALF (Alien Life Form) as they called him, crash landed in their lives.

They take ALF’s lifeless body into the house and try to figure out what to do with him.  He wakes up and ask the family if they can fix his spaceship so he can go home.  He also told the family he was hungry and wanted a cat to snack on.  They quickly realize their cat, Lucky, was in danger of being eaten by the smart ass alien and that staying with them is a huge mistake.  Willie expressed concern about ALF being seen by his nosy neighbor, Raquel Ochmonek.  She does get a glimpse of the half-pint alien but he husband, Trevor, thinks she is losing it.

ALF quickly gets comfortable living with the Tanners.  The kids love their new live in stranger, but Willie and Kate are not sure if they want him to stay.  Finally, ALF informs the family that his home planet, Melmac, exploded from a nuclear war disaster and he has nowhere to go.  When the Alien Task Force shows up at their door, and they get a glimpse into what they will do to ALF, Willie and Kate have a change of heart.  ALF because part of the family but he is not an easy thing to live with.  The Tanners have to put up with the alien’s antics while he deals with being the only one of his kind left, ruining things around the house while suffering from boredom.  Throughout it all, the family does whatever it takes to protect the little booger from being dissected and probed by the ATF.  Even though he frustrates the family and they are fearful of people finding out about him, they grow to love him.

In 1986, NBC aired a sitcom on Monday nights called “ALF”.  My daughter and I would not miss an episode.  The short little furry alien was funny with his snappy comebacks and constant antics.  The character, ALF, was a live-hand puppet operated by Paul Fusco.  The show only lasted 4 seasons, but we enjoyed each one.  One of our favorites was when ALF had a stole-away on his space ship, a Melmacian cockroach.   It was no ordinary roach; it got larger whenever pesticides were sprayed on it.  While ALF was trapped in the bathroom by the cockroach, which had reached an enormous size, he sprayed it with perfume which finally killed the beast.  I swear, I have seen sewer roaches around here that get that big!