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August 22, 2008

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Naomi

Creepy! You have to get one of those scary sad wedding dresses. What's the deal with leaving them at the cleaners? Do that many new brides actually do that?

The Mighty Favog

Pick a public school. Any school . . . though I'd put my money on Baton Rouge High or Lee High. Perhaps Glen Oaks and Broadmoor, too.

Try pitching a national education mag -- or another national pub -- a story idea about the crumbling educational infrastructure in Louisiana . . . and the reluctance of taxpayers to properly fund public schools combined w/ local school boards' amazing ability to squander the money they have.

Being a working journalist on that particular story will GET YOU INSIDE the buildings legitimately. And money is money.

Take some of your pictures when students aren't around to clutter the shots. Then, on the blog, have non-Louisianians guess whether the schools are in use or abandoned.

When I was in town last September, I took several rolls of film at my alma mater, Baton Rouge High. Some, I had to have custom developed in Omaha because it was high-speed B&W film.

When my wife went to pick up the pictures, the owner of the photo lab wanted to know whether the pictures were of a school destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

I am not making this up. And that is the difference between where I live now and where I grew up.

Leslie @ the oko box

maybe there should be an abandoned brides dresses of baton rouge too. ... .. .. creepy.

Julie

This blog is really awesome. I also love the suggestion The Mighty Favog left you.

kartek

Looks like you can a "vintage" wedding dress for pretty cheap....i bet they would sell for mega bucks up at screaming mimis

tjean314

Here's my suggestion for the ABR Birthday Contest. It's that old wharf just south of the Interstate 10 bridge. This rusty relic, festooned with bold graffiti, can be seen as you cross the bridge going east into Baton Rouge. If you do go there, proceed at your own risk, dress appropriately, obey all laws, etc., etc.

cokane

Naomi, I know: I'm disturbed. I'd be afraid to wear one of those. Also--puffy sleeves.

Favog: good idea. We passed the police station yesterday but it looked like it used to be a high school? And some of it also looked pretty beat up.

Thanks Julie!

TJean--LOVE that suggestion--we already took you up on it--only thing is you didn't leave your email?

Justin

Your pic of Overpass Cleaners is by far the best one you've posted yet. I couldn't help but make it my desktop wallpaper...

The Mighty Favog

The cop shop is on a leased, state-owned campus that was the original Louisiana School for the Deaf.

It quite literally is falling apart:

http://www.businessreport.com/news/2008/jul/28/kips-billion-dollar-gamble-edvl1/

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/25743749.html

The site's use as the deaf school dates back to antebellum times, and it also housed LSU for a time after the school's original campus in Pineville burned down in 1869.

LSU later moved to where the new state capitol is now, and then to its present site starting in the mid-1920s. The journalism building originally stood on the old campus as "Alumni Hall" but was moved in the early '30s, I think.

But we were discussing the dilapidated police HQ, weren't we?

Are you starting to see a pattern about how civic-minded Baton Rougeans are? Or, at a minimum, how they hate cops and high-school kids?

Like I said earlier, Baton Rouge "normal" equals total hurricane devastation to Omaha eyes.

The key to BR -- at least it was this way when I lived there -- is that it isn't a functioning city as Americans generally understand the concept. It's a loose confederation of warring neighborhoods.

Back in the day, the rivalry between Baton Rouge High and Istrouma was more akin to out-and-out class warfare. Among white people, being that blacks weren't allowed into the rumble . . . or either school.

My old man graduated from Istrouma in 1940. I graduated from Baton Rouge High in 1979.

We never did get along. He thought I was uppity.

cokane

Justin, WOW, thanks!

Favog, oh, that's the school for the deaf--I think there is a photo of it in that Baton Rouge book.

And we have a winner for the book--I have already acted on the suggestion of commenter tjean above, with great success. Other suggestions are always welcome.


Linds

Just my two cents about the Overpass sign, having spent too many years in the sign biz: new neon, old sign.

I enjoy both your blogs, hope the hurricane treats you well.

ScottBRLa

I used to enjoy poking around the abandoned drive-in theatres. The one I remember best (as abandoned, anyway) was the old Rebel Drive-In, which was at the corner of Government Street and Rebel Drive (which has now been renamed to something else) - it's just south of the Baton Rouge Community College site which fronts on Florida. The Showtown Drive-In I remember from being open - it closed sometime in the late 1980s, I think. There might still be something there to explore - it was on Airline Hwy., in the northwest quadrant of Airline and Sherwood...between Sherwood and the Capitol Buick/Pontiac dealership.

Jessica Wakefield

Rome Cleaners if full of it--I called them a few months back to ask about the wedding dresses (I am getting married soon) and the woman I spoke with was VERY standoffish and shady, telling me, "Well, that's really only for dresses that have been here for over ten years and we don't have that many of them." Not sure what the deal is with them keeping them all on display! Maybe they are trying to motivate people to pick up their clothes...

mesa dry cleaners

I actually met the owners of this business. hey also seemed like pretty nice gentleman, very family oriented. Let's give them a chance, and wish them the best!

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