One cataract surgery done.  One whirlwind trip to Asheville, North Carolina taken.  I mention the cataract surgery because it seems I'm going to have to do some adjusting to the changes in my vision.  I've noticed some issues coming up when I'm trying to compose my shots. 

As for our trip, Asheville is an amazing place.  We've been there before but usually for a stop-over on our way to somewhere else.  This time we explored.  We met up with friends who have been there many times before and knew where to go.  I wanted to try people shots and some things I'm not used to doing.  There is something to photograph everywhere you turn.  Art makes up the city...in it's architecture, in stores, in parks, on the streets...everywhere!  There are street performers, lots of night life and more than you can imagine. 

Since I love preserving parts of our heritage and our culture before they disappear, I've been trying to find "ghost signs" to photograph and finding that very difficult.  Are you old enough to remember Burma Shave signs?  How about Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco or See Rock City?  Burma Shave signs, as far as I can tell, no longer exist anywhere.  When the Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco signs have faded away, there should be no more as the tobacco industry lost the right to promote their products by painting images on buildings when the government banned advertising cigarettes.  From what I've seen, the See Rock City barns are falling down and there aren't many good signs left.  A segment of history is disappearing before our eyes after many years of being some of our best cultural icons.

Ghost Signs, if you haven't guessed, are advertising signs that were painted on (mostly) brick buildings many years ago.  They were for Coca Cola, Pepsi, feed stores, grocery stores, hardware stores and what ever small business wanted to advertise this way.  The term "ghost sign" came about because these signs have deteriorated to a "ghost" of their former selves.  The paint is fading, the bricks are crumbling and some of the signs are almost impossible to read.   If no one preserves them in photographic or painted images, eventually no one will remember. As I've said, they are already hard to find.  But not in Asheville.  I felt like I'd hit the mother load!  Ghost signs are everywhere!  Some are already unreadable but others are still looking pretty good.  I am now on a quest to photograph as many of them as I can find.  Stay tuned.  The images I have will soon appear here and next year we'll go back for more.  Hopefully, our trip to Charleston in the Fall will be as filled with ghost signs as this one was!

Stop back in a week or two.  I'll have another story to tell!