EMPTY

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Had nothing else to do after getting a haircut, so I thought I’d stop by the now empty Fairgrounds Mall just to see what’s there now.

The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built in 1980 by the F&S Construction Co. on the former site of the Reading Fairground Speedway.  The Mall did a real good business for a number of years.  There were over 84 Stores in here.  During the Christmas Season this place was packed with shoppers all getting gifts for the Holiday Season.  During the other months it did well also.  On a Friday & Saturday nite lot’s of the younger generation would tend to “hang out in here” cause there was not much else to do.  Then, as the years passed by, the business started to decline slowly.  Stores started to close and board up their Fronts.  I noticed this when I would go shopping here.  There first to close were the food places, then more & more stores followed along.  I never knew why this place failed, until finding out later on.

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Here is a look at one of the Main Entrances to the Mall.  Still very colorful, but there is no one that shops here anymore.  It’s empty of stores, except a few that are still hanging in there hoping business will get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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Empty jewelry stands are void of merchandise to sell.  No shoppers here anymore.

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Empty floors & store fronts.

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I remember seeing this Pretzel place with lines of people waiting to order.  Not now anymore.

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It’s quiet here now.  Nothing except the occasional “Mall Walker” in a big empty area.

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A empty display case that once held some pretty jewelry to sell, now waits to be dismantled.

Why did this Mall fail, you might ask?  I found out that the Owner of the Mall complex started to default on taxes and morgage payments.  Then just let the place go down-hill.  Also the younger generation would hang out here and not buy much of anything.  The stores were loosing money slowly.  There were a number of roof repairs that had to be made, because of rain leaking in and leaving a pool of water on the floors.  All that cost money which the Owners were not ready for.  On top of all that, buying products “on-line” helped the problem.  Shoppers could get what they wanted at a better price.  It didn’t help the matter.

This Mall was built over the once famous Reading Speedway Racetrack.  Friday & Saturday nights were a big race time when Sprint cars, Modified cars, and Stock Cars would race the clay & mud track here.  The Reading Fair in September was a big thing also.  It was huge!  I remember going to the Fair in HS and we always had a great time with all the rides.  Now, all that is long gone to History which is a shame.  Time marches on

MUD AUCTION

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On Saturday, I had been told that there was a Auction going on not far from my home, so I decided to go take a “look see” at just what was there.  After finding a parking place, which was tough to do, I started walking around just to see and hear what a Auction is all about.  Above is one of the Auctioneers pointing to baby lambs to be auctioned off.  These people have their own language in selling off what is for sale.  They talk so fast that I just can’t understand them, except for knowing a few words they’ve said.  Guess you must be around them alot more often to take in what is said so fast.  The cute little lambs were selling at $30.00 for one animal.  That was the last bid I heard.

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There are quite a number of Amish people that live in my area, so it seem’d that alot of them were here to see what could be bought.  Here are just some of the Horse & Buggy’s that they travel in.  Some have their Horse’s covered to keep them warm with a blue blanket.

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Some of the Buggy’s even have padded seats!

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2 day’s before this Auction, it had rained pretty hard for awhile.  This plus the snow melt from milder temperatures, made everything a muddy mess!  I shot this Image to show you just how over-cast it was.  The weather was not good, again!  It was cold & windy.  Notice the long lines of cars parked on the side of the road to the right and in the back ground.  Way in the back is where I had to park my car & walk in the slop for about a 1/4 mile.  I should have worn Mud boots for this!

SOME HD

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Just 2 day’s ago the weather was so very nice & warm, I went out looking for something to Post about in my Blog, since I’m running low on subjects.  About 2 Posts back I had made a Post about a new small Train Station that will be built just off to the right of this Image.  Since I had shot the Steam Engine (which is still there) I went “snooping around” to see what I could find below where I was.

I came across these old tracks that have not been used in many, many years.  These tracks were ones that led into the old Outer Station (which is now gone) and then to the Reading Terminal that is still there, but not being used for anything right now.  There is talk around that it will soon be used as a train stop on it’s way to Philadelphia, like it was so long ago.  I wanted to shoot the tracks from a different perspective, instead of the same ole thing all the time.

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Here’s a Image in B&W looking down the tracks from the opposite direction.  I have no idea why these empty coal cars are here on a side track, but they make a good background.  Notce the piles of stone under the Coal cars.  You can tell by this that something is going to happen here.  The Railroad is trying to get the area looking better.

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Here’s another look at what’s here.  More old tracks & ties that have been here for a long time.  Notice the train light is Red.  Don’t know why.  Nothing travels these tracks that I know of.  The Bridge above is rusting away.  It, too, has been here for many years.

I have been using a new Photo Editing Software called Lightroom 6.  A bit testy in price, but it does a outstanding job for your Post processing.  I can add a whole lot of “presets” that save me allot of time editing.  In the not to distant future, I’m going into the City and shoot the old Train Station in HD.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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Yesterday, I went up to my ole’ hometown of Hamburg, PA to walk around a bit and look for some photography things to shoot.  I remembered my ole’ Elementary School which still stands after all these years have passed.  Now, it’s the Borough Hall of Hamburg.

I walked up those steps, that I have done many times when I was just a young boy, and took a trip back in time.  There are no more classrooms here, anymore.  Just walls and office space that were never there before.  The grass area to the right was once part of the macadam play area where marbles, and hopscotch were once played.  The tree is much younger than the one there before.  It was much bigger back then.

I walked those steps and remembered having my class picture taken at that exact spot when I was in 3rd or 4th Grade.  It’s also where I broke my front tooth and had to go thru a nightmare at the Dentist’s Office to have it repaired.  The Ghosts of children, such as I was, are long gone.  Only those who remember.

img001This is the only picture of me when I went to school here.  I don’t remember when it was taken.  I was such a cute little boy.  What happened?