Chairs In The Alley and a Sky So Blue – Tioga, Texas

Benches in Tioga Don't Go Wanderin' Alleys and Colors Just another Brick In the Wall Look Inside, Tioga cracks in the Brick skyline here, East Texas Tioga City Park Tioga City Park, Tioga Texas Jail house, Tioga Tioga City Jail Tioga City Fire Department, Tioga

Little town, little town. 

It took over an hour and 1/2 to get here, and once we were within it’s limits, we still had to double back because we missed the very missable right turn onto Main St., going 80 miles and hour and the highway seemed to stretch onto forever and all of a sudden, TURN RIGHT.

There was a local cop who drove past our parked car 2 times while I was messing with the settings, and then drove down the opposite street when finally got out to explore. I could feel his eyes from a distance, but it didn’t feel so much as a distrust of outsiders as just a general sense of diligent watchfulness. Protection runs deep here, and I can’t really blame them. Crumbling brick and brilliant colors mix so lovingly, and my feet crunched on healthy green grass and forgotten trash in equal measure.

It was hot and quiet , the sun scorching the empty sidewalks, with faint notes of country music floating on down from the only business open, the bar down the street. If you asked me though, I would say this place is going to last till the end of days, easily.

~m

There Is a Back Alley- Caddo Mills, Texas

there is a back alley

color here, east texas

color here, east texas caddo mills

behind the furniture store

on the rooftops, caddo mills texas

this back alley

give me the window, romeo

green here, in the back alley

Open, in the back alley

I have wandered the mad streets of NYC, the crooked cow paths of Boston, sprawled down the gravity defying hills of San Francisco, and chased friends down countless carefully cultivated suburbs… but, this tiny little town in the middle of East Texas Nowhere, it had the most beautiful back alley i’ve ever come across.

I wandered into this town after my jaunt in Farmersville , parking the car in the slightly shady lot of a discount dollar store that had mustachioed guys hanging out of huge trucks with badly drawn tattoos lining their slightly greased up arms. The dust swirled in the warm air from passing trucks and I wondered if maybe this would be a bust, if perhaps I shouldn’t get back in the car and keep going elsewhere. I also wondered, after wandering down this back alley with glittering broken glass scattered here and there in the brilliantly green grass, if maybe this would also be the town I finally got a shotgun to the face for mistakenly trespassing onto private property. (This is more common than you would think…..the mistaken jaunt onto private property I mean, not the shotgun. Although, shotguns ARE very common here of course)

Thankfully, I found only hidden gems of light and lushness, and not a one shotgun to be seen. I know it would be easy to see this place as something ugly, to turn the lens a different way, to use a different filter and write at length about the decay of these small almost-no-name towns and the problems that plague them at length but…it can be JUST as easy, if you have the mind for it, to turn your eyes into multi-layered viewers and appreciate the life thriving here. I don’t seek to romanticize small town life, but I also don’t find joy in tearing it down. I just want to be able to see the beauty that surrounds me, anywhere I find myself.

~m