Sunday, November 23, 2008

Only a Memory


A run-down Skunk Motel (it was named for the well known excursion train operating here, not the animal) was finally demolished several years ago, and the empty lot served as some overflow parking for the Mariposa Market. Then temporary fences went up and the heavy equipment moved in, pushing, digging, grading. Soon, construction will be complete on a new building for the market.

There are a few other things that have been pictured on Willits Daily Photo that are no longer to be seen in the real world of today:

1. The Lion of Judah shop has been clearing out of its space. I don't know if it's going somewhere else.

2. The abandoned service station office is now not only vacant, but torn down.

3. Three miniature mares were torn apart and killed by two wandering pitbull dogs last week. The paper says a fourth was maimed, but may recover.

4. The Princess Parking Only sign at the Community Center/City Hall has been removed, following a letter of snarky complaint by someone to the local newspaper. The killjoy claimed such nonsense that it must have cost her tax dollars or similar. She made it clear that some issue had not gone well for her at the city offices, so denying the humanity of public employees was her revenge. One less reason to move to Willits after all.

5. Many abandoned railcars (including the manzanita bush) on the unused NCRA railroad sidings have been scrapped and removed. The few that remain are consolidated behind a fence, apparently waiting for transport elsewhere by their owners.

15 comments:

dina said...

Your news here leaves me feeling kind of knocked down myself.
Are you serious?! The little horses were killed by dogs?! How awful.

Petrea said...

Well, bummer. I'm going to miss all of those things, especially the train cars. No. Especially that service station. That was a beaut. Thank goodness you got the pictures. This blog is a repository of the treasures of Willits.

Ron Bloomquist said...

Good reporting.

Yes, there is an up side and a down side to small towns and..., everywhere else for that matter!

Damn shame about the miniature horses.

Kelly said...

I am glad you captured them before they were gone!

Kym said...

How sad! The horses make me choke up a bit but the Princess sign makes me a little cranky. If you dehumanize the people in government, then the government becomes inhuman--who wants to deal with a Kafkaesque nightmare of officialdom.

Petrea said...

That princess sign was probably something someone brought from home, anyway. Perhaps the snark would prefer if if people in city government weren't allowed to have a family picture on their desks.

Benjamin Madison said...

Elaine, you know how greatly I admire your work but...no photo of the Skunk Motel? How could you not? Please, I need to see that little sign that says "Skunk Motel" - maybe with a little red neon arrow pointing downwards?

USelaine said...

Dina - Yeah, it's horrifying, to say the least. That ranch has a lot of other minis, but the mares that were attacked had been separated from what would have been the protection of the herd, in order to wean their foals.

P - I remember you liked the service station image. I really wished it could have been re-purposed, but it was fairly insubstantial. I hope they build something nice in its place.

Ron - It's a relief to see new businesses finally move in to some vacancies, but others really need to be torn down due to neglect.

Kelly - Me too!

Kym - Me too, on both points. Cranky is how I was feeling every time I drove by City Hall, for days. You can just imagine the original conversation with whoever the boss was, indicating that, well, okay, but the first complaint we get, it comes down. I don't know how long it was there before I saw it, but I guess we can be glad it lasted as long as it did.

P - Exactly. To have public servants gets confused with dungeon dwelling slaves. How does this make the letter-writer's life better?

Benjamin - I hate to disappoint you, of all people, but that motel came down years before a digital camera was even a gleam in my eye. These machines were just preparing the ground for the new building. I'll bet there's an old picture on the net somewhere. With a name like Skunk...

Thanks people, for sharing my shock, gripes, and dismay today.

Halcyon said...

It's sad to see things go. But hopefully the new market building will help make up for it.

raf said...

It's a good post, Elaine! Good observations. Changes happen around us daily and often go unnoticed.

Afyonkarahisar said...

The machines are The very strong. should be You Are a successful photo. Greetings.

Benjamin Madison said...

"The Skunk sign? Probably ended up in the Willits museum. It was a landmark, for sure. Contributed greatly to the branding of Skunk City. Arguably the third most important landmark in town, next to the Big W on top of Red Hill and the Big Cowboy."

You may wish to check this out.

Benjamin Madison said...

Bingo!

You were right. Persistence with Google produced a photo of the Skunk Motel sign.

USelaine said...

Hey! Thanks Benjamin. Humboldt county has a thriving community of bloggers that puts Mendocino to shame. I recognize that blog, and one or two posters, but I hadn't seen that page before. Considering I have only lived here since 2001, I'm pleased to note that I've hit quite a few of the high points they mention, given what's available today, and my relatively limited knowledge as a new-comer. 6^) I have a picture of the Skunk Train depot sign, but I think I can do better. As far as I know, the museum does NOT have that sign.

Petrea said...

Excellent job of sniffing that out, Benjamin.