Sara’s Family Restaurant

A large American flag mural covers half of the front facade of Saras Family Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Saras Family Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Sara’s is a locally owned restaurant that opened back in 2003 in a former Captain D’s Seafood location at the Village at Coventry Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The restaurant, owned by an immigrant family, is decorated in a patriotic theme that celebrates American history. I haven’t had a chance to photograph the inside yet, but their menu (opens as a PDF from their website) shows off the owners’ feelings about their adopted country pretty well!

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Rainy Evening in East Allen County

A cornfield on a stormy rainy evening on Dawkins Road in rural Allen County, Indiana. A house and railroad signals are visible in the background.
Cornfield on a rainy evening in the eastern part of rural Allen County, Indiana.

There had been rain off and on all day, but it stopped briefly in the evening. I took advantage of the lull in the rain to do some photographs in rural Allen County, east of New Haven, Indiana.

I photographed this cornfield looking east from Sampson Road. Dawkins Road is to the right, and the railroad tracks that run north of Dawkins Road are on the left.

This is a couple miles east of the railcar with the graffiti that I showed in my last post. I photographed it a few minutes after I photographed this field.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Railroad Graffiti: Reznor

Graffiti with the name REZNOR covering the entire side of a railroad bulk-goods car.
A giant graffiti tag covering the side of a railroad car: Reznor

I photographed this railroad car sitting alone on a siding near a factory in Allen County, east of the town of New Haven, Indiana. I was standing on Edgerton Road, looking south.

All day long, there had been heavy rain, but I stopped here in the evening during a brief lull in the downpour, only to get rained on as I was setting up the camera. In a large print, the streaks of rain are visible in the air in front of the railcar!

Railcar graffiti has always fascinated me because so much of it is done on a very large scale, covering the entire side of a large railcar, as you see on this one. Many of them are much more elaborate designs. This is something that would have taken a lot of time to execute. How the Hell does someone put in such time and effort and escape being seen doing it, and why do it in the first place?

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Abandoned Church in Hicksville, Ohio

Abandoned brick church with a stop sign visible through the window on the front door. The church is on the corner of Maple Street and Smith Street in the small town of Hicksville, Ohio.
Abandoned brick church in Hicksville, Ohio.

This is an abandoned church on the southeast corner of Maple Street and Smith Street (facing Maple) in the small town of Hicksville, Ohio. I thought the stop sign inside the front doors was odd.

There were a group of local people hanging out across the street who said it had never been used as a church during their lifetimes (they were in their early 20s), but that it had once been used as a Halloween haunted house attraction.

One of the guys I talked to didn’t have a shirt on, and his arms and chest were covered in white supremacist tattoos, including a large swastika and Nazi eagle.

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Made With American Jobs

A display of Bounty Paper Towels at a Walmart store that says, Walmart Investing in American Jobs. These products proudly made with American jobs.
American made products at Walmart.

The day I made this photograph, I noticed that there were several displays like this at one of the Walmart Supercenter stores in Fort Wayne. The box proclaims that Walmart is investing in American jobs by selling American made products, including the paper towels shown here.

When the first Walmart opened in Fort Wayne more than 20 years ago, the stores were full of signs touting the company’s committment to selling American made goods. The signs often featured a product along with a statement of how many American jobs were created by Walmart selling the item.

Those signs eventually went away, and in recent years Walmart has developed a reputation as a company that sold only Chinese made goods. That’s never been entirely true, since most grocery items (both food and household cleaning products) sold in the United States are still made here. The non-grocery departments, however, have become places where it is hard to find American made products. That is, unfortunately, true of most retail chains, though Walmart has gotten most of the bad press about it.

A lot of people ask me why I care about buying American made products. I have never worked in a factory, nor has anyone in my family during my lifetime. What most people don’t understand is that a country that produces nothing is not really wealthy, and a poor country cannot support artists and other intellectuals.

In addition, I worry about the future of my students. They can’t all by engineers and financial analysts. There aren’t enough of those jobs, and many people can’t do them anyway. That doesn’t mean they deserve to be left in poverty. They deserve a decent life, and that can only come when our country begins making things again.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Hicksville Grain

An American flag flies from the top of a huge concrete silo at Hicksville Grain in the small town of Hicksville, Ohio.
The American flag flies from the top of a silo at Hicksville Grain in Hicksville, Ohio.

Most small towns in the midwestern United States have at least one grain elevator, since most are surrounded by farmland. Corn and soybeans are the most common crops in Indiana and Ohio, but there is some wheat grown as well.

These are two of the tall concrete silos at Hicksville Grain in the small town of Hicksville in antwerp county, Ohio. Hicksville is just inside Ohio, only a couple miles from the Indiana-Ohio state line.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America

Anti-Obama messages painted on the broken windows of a closed business in the small town of Hicksville, Ohio. One Big Ass Mistake America. Cut Taxes and Spending. Support Arizona. Impeach him. Get a Handgun Permit.
Anti-Obama rants painted on the broken windows of an abandoned business in Hicksville, Ohio.

I found this closed business, with its broken windows covered in Anti-Obama slogans, in the small town of Hicksville, Ohio. It is on the south side of High Street (State Route 49 and State Route 2), across from Hicksville Grain.

The biggest of the slogans, “One Big Ass Mistake America,” is a common one, often seen on bumper stickers. The initials spell “O.B.A.M.A.” The window also has a bumper sticker on it that says, “Obama: Impeach Him.”

One of the messages on the window is hard to read because of the broken part of the window obscuring part of it, but it appears to say “Get a handgun permit.”

The “Support Arizona” line refers to the efforts of some elected officials in Arizona’s state government to ‘prove’ that President Obama was not really born in the United States.

©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Old Building in Yorktown

Three story brick commercial building with a vacant storefront on the main highway in the small town of Yorktown, Indiana.
Three story brick storefront building in Yorktown, Indiana.

This building is on Smith Street (State Road 32), the main road through the small town of Yorktown, Indiana.

Multistory brick commercial buildings with storefronts on the first floor are a common sight on “Main Street” in Indiana’s small towns. Many of them are in poor condition, but this one appears to have been renovated recently.

Yorktown is just west of Muncie, in Delaware County.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Gas City Victory Lanes

A painted metal American flag and wooden bald eagle on the front of Victory Lanes bowling alley in the small town of Gas City, Indiana.
Victory Lanes bowling alley in Gas City, Indiana.

This is on the front of Gas City Victory Lanes, a bowling alley on Main Street in the small town of Gas City, Indiana. The flag is painted metal, and the bald eagle is handpainted wood. This kind of folk art is common in Indiana.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Bill’s House #1

An old tire swing hanging from a tree in front of a small house on Huron Street in a working class neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A large American flag covers the side of the front porch.
Tire swing in front of Bill’s House

This house is on Huron Street, in the working class West Main Street area of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I stopped to photograph it because of the large American flag that covers the side of the house’s front porch.

The owner, an old man with a big beard, was sleeping in a chair on the porch when I arrived. I had a hard time waking him to ask permission to photograph as he was a very sound sleeper, despite having loud rock music playing!

When he woke, he invited me to sit and talk, and told me that his name was Bill. The flag belonged to his father, a World War II veteran.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.