Once I started blogging it did not take me very long to learn that I never wanted to be without my camera. After missing all kinds of great shots while riding in the car because I could not get the lens cap off or the camera turned on in time. I now never ride in a car without having the camera ready to shoot and most of the time I'm holding it at shoulder height so I can react quickly. The following shots are some that happened because of being ready on the fly and snapping away through the windshield.
I have wanted to post these shots for a while but hate posting photos without giving some sort of history or antidote to go with the picture. Where these photos were concerned I did not have anything to tell. Heck, I could not even remember where they were taken. So, I spent most of last week on the hunt for the answers.
First check out my photos of these wild yellow and red palm trees. I captured these shots last fall on the last leg of what we affectionately call our "Last Hurrah" trip. All I could remember is that they were taken while driving through some small town between Siloam Springs, Arkansas and Pilot Knob, Missouri.
I remembered that a few miles down the road I had let my guard down and missed getting some shots of another group of these large plastic palm trees in orange and blue. I was kicking myself for miles. We were scheduled to meet my sister and her family for lunch and could not spare the time to back track for photos of plastic palms trees. So I started my search by checking the web for the phone numbers of the Happy Bay Car Wash in Missouri and found none. In Arkansas I found five. Narrowing that down to two on the same highway we were traveling. Repeated phone calls were never answered so I placed a call to the Pig Trail Harley Dealership where a very nice receptionist filled me in on what she knew.
I learned that the wild palm trees are part of the decor of all the Happy Bay Car Washes in the Area. The one in Rodgers, Arkansas has yellow and red trees and the blue and orange trees are located at the Lowell, Arkansas facility a few miles down the road. I also learned that both locations are now closed and up for sale. A call to the city hall in Rodgers put me in touch with a very informative clerk in the business license office who told me the owner had five car washes in the county and when the downturn in the economy started and business slowed he got very creative in his efforts to attract customers. He installed the wild palm trees (which light up, flash, and change colors at night) almost two years ago and starting having all sorts of unusual promotions with silly names. There were cook outs, juggling clowns, stilt walkers, cheer leaders, dancers, musicians and even classic and hot rod shows. I also learned that it was all for nothing and he filed for bankruptcy last year. The only thing currently open at each location is the do-it-yourself wash bays.
After a lot of web searching and a few more phone calls I located the distributorship that sells these wild palm trees and learned that they are made in china, come in five colors (red,yellow,orange, blue, and green) and four sizes ranging from 10 to 25 feet. You can choose from a options package that includes lights for the entire tree. trunk only or coconuts only. You can get the palm leaves to spin or the lights to change colors or flash.
It is no wonder the owner of Happy Bays went bankrupt. He had five twenty-five foot trees at each location, with the works, at a cost of almost three thousand dollars per tree. That is a total of $75,000 plus the cost of the installation.
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