At the Last Minute

Let’s back up a bit. A few months ago, I put out a post called “Tales of Philly Sales,” about a dear departed department store in the city of Binghamton. The response on that particular post has been tremendous, which led me to think about writing a sequel to it, sharing some of the memories that had been shared with me. I decided to use a trip to Binghamton as an opportunity to get a few more sign shots to back up the story.

A few things got in the way. First, our trip to San Antonio yielded much more than I imagined, and so for a months I posted little else. Second, the flu hit us, and I wasn’t upright long enough to sit in front of a computer to type it out. And then, all of a sudden, I knew why it was taking me so long to get this story together.

Ellis Brothers and Phil's Gift Shop

Early March: The first night I was in town I got in a bit early. Don’t ask me why–maybe I was bored and needed something to do–but I decided to go by Ellis Brothers and take a shot of the sign. I had gotten shots of this sign before. Twice before, in fact, but something compelled me to go by. I snapped off a few, kind of half-wondering what I was going to do with these shots. It was kind of a dull evening, and cold, and the first grouping of shots I got four years ago were vibrant and fantastic.

So I got creative:

Ellis Brothers, Binghamton, NY

I slipped in underneath the sign and used my long zoom lens to get this perspective, and as soon as I previewed it I knew this was the reason I was there. And then again, maybe it wasn’t…

Last week, Ellis Brothers Furniture, one of the oldest businesses in Binghamton, went through a terrible fire. It’s expected that the building will have to come down.

Do I have to mention the Little Voice? Listen to that Little Guy in your head, the one who tells you to do things that no one would care one way or the other whether you shrug them off or not. Ten times out of ten when the Little Guy says to take a picture and I do, I don’t regret it. Chances are, this was a last opportunity to get a shot of this fantastic old sign. I’ll try to keep you updated on this one.

Coca Cola Ghost Sign, Binghamton, NY

While I was at it that same night, I got this shot of a marvelous set of ghost signs that I had been meaning to get for a while. As you can see, it was still basically winter…

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