A Small Town Bar With Good Food

Driving east on US-30, I stopped at a gas station to buy some coffee, when I noticed a grain elevator in the distance to the south. A road that ran past the gas station had a sign for the town of Hamlet, so I drove down the road to photograph the town. This bar seemed to be the happening place in Hamlet, and was the only restaurant that I saw. Fortunately, the neon sign in the window promises Good Food. There was a stray black cat sitting on the sidewalk in front of the door who let me make some portraits of him.

Waymire's Corner Tap is a bar and restaurant in the small town of Hamlet, Indiana. Cars are parked on the street in front of the brick building that has a turret above the entrance and a neon sign in the window that reads Good Food.

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Uncle Sam Selling Fireworks in Indiana

This fireworks store in a former gas station is in a rural area along US-30 in LaPorte County. I would not have noticed the small building surrounded by tall trees if Uncle Sam hadn’t been standing on the roof!

I made this photograph on a rainy afternoon as my son and I were driving to Chicago, where we were attending the annual Brickworld convention, which is a large gathering of Lego enthusiasts. Mack loves Legos, and had been looking forward to the trip for months, and it was a good excuse for me to get out of Fort Wayne and explore some areas of rural Indiana that I had not seen before.

An inflatable Uncle Sam stands on top of B&G Enterprises Fireworks store on US-30 in rural northwest Indiana's LaPorte County.

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Gun Town

The Gun Town is a firearms dealer located out in the middle of nowhere on US-30 in Starke County, Indiana. I thought that the old-west style building was interesting, and somewhat out of place in rural Indiana farm country. The signs on the storefronts say, “Dry Goods”, “Saloon”, “US Marshal”, and “Blacksmith.” The arrow sign reads, “We sell guns.”

I made this photograph in the evening of June 17 as my son and I were driving back home from Chicago, where we had spent a few days at the annual Brickworldconvention, which is a large gathering of Lego enthusiasts. Mack loves Legos, and had been looking forward to the trip for months, and it was a good excuse for me to get out of Fort Wayne and explore some areas of rural Indiana that I had not seen before.

The gun town is a firearms store that looks like a building from an old west cowboy town. It is located on US-30 in rural Starke County, Indiana. The sign outside the building says WE SELL GUNS.

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Waynedale Cafe

I was amused to see this new restaurant on the Columbia Street Landing in downtown Fort Wayne. Waynedale is a district on the southwestern edge of Fort Wayne that was an independent small town until it was annexed by the city in the 1950s. This restaurant, in the heart of downtown, is a 25 minute drive from Waynedale! There is a restaurant in Waynedale that has the same name, so perhaps the owners just wanted a second location and kept the familiar name for the new one?

I photographed this place in the early evening in the rain!

A grand opening banner hangs over the entrance to the Waynedale Cafe in an old brick storefront on the Columbia Street Landing in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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Fort Wayne Loves Harry Baals

Harry Baals, whose name is pronounced like Hairy Balls, was the mayor of Fort Wayne from 1934–1947 and from 1951-1954. In 2010, the city government prepared to open a new city office building downtown, and citizens were asked to suggest names for the complex. A local blogger suggested that people vote to name it the “Harry Baals Government Center”, and the name received the highest number of votes. The results made national news, and made Fort Wayne the butt of jokes on late-night comedy shows.

Mayor Tom Henry quickly crushed any possibility of the new building being named for Mayor Baals, so supporters of the name had “I Love Harry Baals” t-shirts made up so that citizens could show their support for honoring the former mayor with the suggestive name! The cigar store Indian that stands on the sidewalk in front of Riegels Pipe and Tobacco Shop on Calhoun Street has been wearing one of them for a few months now. The store is across the street from the City-County Building, where Mayor Henry’s office and the meeting hall of the City Council are located.

A cigar store Indian statue wearing a t-shirt that says "I Love Harry Baals" in front of Riegel's Pipe and Tobacco Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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I Came Up With That Myself

I spotted this “Happy 4th of July” sign the day after the holiday last year when my son and I went out to eat at a restaurant nearby. Somehow, I don’t think the author of the sign actually came up with it himself! This was in front of the shopping center on West Jefferson Boulevard across the street from Covington Plaza in Fort Wayne.

A roadside sign that says "Happy 4th of July. I came up with that myself." The sign was in front of a shopping center on West Jefferson Boulevard in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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