Texas Panhandle was someplace I always wanted to visit. It’s just a small portion of Route 66, but like Texas, everything is BIG. Top of my list is Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas.
“Charly?” I asked, “Why are you wearing the same dress as yesterday?”
I’m thinking it is a cardinal sin for a woman to wear the same dress 2 days in a row.
“I didn’t wear it very long, and I am running low on clean everyday clothes,” she informs me.
“Everyday clothes? What are ALL those suitcases in the back of the car?” I ask trying to clarify my confusion.
“Oh, that’s wardrobe for photo shoots,” she tells me.
“So, your wardrobe, as you put it, isn’t everyday clothes?” I ask trying to understand.
“No,” she said in a tone as if I were completely out-of-touch.
Leaving Oklahoma and Entering the Texas Panhandle
It wasn’t long before we came across Slug Bug Ranch. This was unexpected for me. I knew about Cadillac Ranch, but Slug Bug Ranch?
A few VW Beetles half buried with graffiti beconned us to stop. An old abandoned structure nearby was home to vandalism and who-knows-what-else. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but soon other tourists arrived creating more of a safe atmosphere.
“Charly,” I began, “why don’t you put on some of that wardrobe, as you call it, and we’ll take some fun shots amidst this trash.”
Had I been asked to do that I would have said, “No way.” I normally don’t ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself, but I’m a 60-something man with a potbelly and I’d be afraid I’d trip on some of this garbage.
Before long Charly came back from the car with a slinky outfit.
“Seriously? You’re going to walk through here barefoot in that?” I said with my eyes bulging out of my skull.
“Yeah, why not?” Charly retorted, and added, “I’ll watch for broken glass.”
It wasn’t the broken glass I was worried about. It was EVERYTHING ELSE.
After snapping the first frame, I realized this portion isn’t as dirty as I initially thought. Charly’s elegance amidst the graffiti created a dichotomy in the image, and once seeing that, I was ready to shoot more.
“What else do you have that isn’t everyday clothes?” I asked hoping for a wardrobe change.
Charly soon returned wearing a poet’s shirt… okay, she called it a “dress”, but I’ve seen shirts that cover more of the legs.
Having Fun at Slug Bug Ranch
We were having fun at slug bug ranch in the Texas Panhandle. I would get the shot I like and then Charly would be off changing in to another outfit. I often dreamed of being a famous fashion photographer taking photos of models in unsuspecting places. Couple this with driving Route 66 and I felt like I was on top of the world.
Slug Bug Ranch is a takeoff from Cadillac Ranch. One being east of Amarillo, the other being west of the city. Graffiti is encouraged at both locations. (Vandalism, however is NOT.) If you do visit, bring a couple of cans of spray paint to leave your mark. However, be warned, your mark will only last until someone paints over it with their mark.
So, bring a camera to photograph your artwork.
I just kept the camera in one place for a while, and Charly would perform as if it were her stage. Other tourist looked on, taking pictures with their phones and selfies with Charly and me in the background.
Soon Charly started getting silly, and I figured that was the sign that she’s getting bored. For the life of me, I fail to understand older men who fall for younger women. They are children, for Pete’s sake… in spite of being the age of majority. In any event, her silliness was enough to make me want a change too.
“Hey, Charly,” I yelled to her and pointed to another location, “let’s move over there.”
Charly held her pose and stuck out her tongue to which I said, “Now, that’s just plain silly.”
She giggled and informed me her lip gloss was strawberry flavored.
Let the Fun Begin
Charly returned as I was setting up for the next spot. This time, she looked like some sort of SciFi vigilante.
“Now, that is a cool outfit,” I remarked, “I’d call that everyday clothes.”
We both laughed and Charly entered this trashed room.
“Show me what you’ve got,” I said unsure of how to suggest she pose.
Before I knew it her foot was in the air and leg stretched out in a manner that would leave me crippled for life.
“Do that again,” I said because I wasn’t ready for the shot.
Seeing the room already in disarray, I suggested she act like she just kicked over a three tiered table.
“Take THAT,” she yelled as she went in to a fighting pose.
That Was Fun
That was a fun start to our Texas Panhandle portion of Route 66. We’re ready to move on. We’ll still be in the Texas Panhandle, just not at Slug Bug Ranch. We’re finished here.
It is important to note to the readers that we did NOT enter these locations except where it was obvious the property owners allow access. Thus, no fences were climbed, we did not go around any barricades, and we obeyed all visible no trespassing signs. These images with Charly are COMPUTER ART using photos taken from legal vantage points as the background.
We do NOT condone trespassing or vandalism. This is strictly a fictional story. Or, to put it another way, “Don’t try this on Route 66 — or at home.”