June 20, 2009


My friend Motel Todd called to tell me he was staying at the Crest Motel on Camp Bowie West. He said he'd moved their from the Avalon Motel
so that he could, again get a break from his FOX NEWS-watching, rightwing nut family who he normally stays with.

He said he paid $160 for a week's stay.

(Click here to read a story and view the photos I took of the Avalon Motel.)

The Crest Motel has probably been around since the '50s. It's really not a bad place at all, at least not for dudes like me and Todd who've lived in shitty dumps during parts of our lives, but it does have an unlucky number of rooms --- 13. And the place's outside walls are painted in a pale yellow with the doors painted a light pink.

Think Miami Vice.

But I chalk up the paint choice to the fact that the owner/owners of the Crest Motel probably got these colors of paint for extremely cheap at some auction or from one of those cheapo warehouse places that are full of unused building materials.

Todd's room, 10, was quite roomy, with a dresser drawer, mirror, a t.v. that shows 60 cable channels (meaning Todd can watch MSNBC's Oblermann and Maddow left-leaning political shows) and a little utility room where Todd had stored some Saltine crackers --- a can of something, beans probably since he likes to entertain himself by farting --- a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, all placed on a shelf. There's a mini-fridge in the same room, with it being about a quarter of the size of a regular refrigerator, and plenty big enough for a six-pack or two.

The bathroom, compared to the Avalon's, was really nice. It was very clean and it had a nicer shower than even my own. I forgot to take a picture of it, however. Dumbass, me. The shower looked like it had been updated to 21st century style even though the rest of the bathroom looked like it was the original installation.

I had e-mailed Todd and told him to let me know when he got home from work on Friday so that I could come pick him up there to give me the opportunity to take a few photographs of his newest place of residence instead of him just leaving there to come over to my place for our usual Friday Night Light Beer drunk fest and Bill Maher's HBO "Real Time" show watching.

About 4 p.m. he called me and said he was ready and I drove on over. When I got there I parked next to his Ford SUV, which sat in front of room 5. Therefore, since he wasn't outside waiting for me (he later told me that he had waited but then got bored and went back inside his room) I assumed he was in room 5 since that's where he'd parked. So I knocked on 5's door and got no reaction, even after knocking three different times. The last time I knocked a little louder since I was kinda wondering if he was asleep. Again, no answer.

So I stood there and wondered what to do, maybe start taking photos or light up a cigarette.

I finally decided to go down to room 4. I knocked. After doing so twice the results were the same as room 5. Then I started wondering if someone came out of either room and maybe wasn't happy about a strange knock at the door that they might come out, barely clothed to make it all the worse, all freaked out and force me into a shitty situation. So I was really hoping Todd would appear a.s.a.p.

Next, I tried room 7. What shocked me was that the door to room 7 was wide open. I peeked inside, no lights were on except the bit of outdoor light from an overcast sky, and I saw a dude half past out on his bed, in shorts, socks and a t-shirt. At first I thought it might have been Todd because the guy was Todd's size but I couldn't see his face at all, so I wasn't sure.

I was doing this search for Todd, by the way, because we had forgot to let each other know what room number he was in when he called and told me he was ready for me to come and pick him up.

The reason I couldn't see the face on the body in room 7 was because the person had their left arm arched over their face. The man's clothes were disheveled. He seemed to be drunk and Todd is known to tie one on early in the day, especially if his friend is doing all the driving.

As I stood outside the door, and with the man on the bed unaware of my presence, I looked around his room and it was scatter shot with things we all need in life. Every drawer, desk, shelf, etc., was covered with various things we humans use.

So, without being able to tell that it was Todd lying there since I knew Todd could be found in that condition, I tapped on the wide open door and said, "Todd?"

The person barely lifted up his head, which made me quickly realize he wasn't Todd since he was and old fart with grey hair. He grunted something unintelligible. Somewhat shocked, and who wouldn't be in that situation, I quickly told him, "My mistake, man", and he went right back to sleep, not even bothering to close his room's door or ask me to do it for him.

Then, growing more frustrated, I walked back down to room 5 and knocked on it again. Nothing.


But then the Gods Of Who Knows What answered my prayers in my harried effort to find my buddy --- without me getting killed by some enraged motel dweller and having my body mutilated in a historical way and my corpse being found by some jogger running through the woods in Trinity Park --- when I heard Todd yell at me from outside his room that was on the second floor.

He was upstairs standing against the railing. He was outside of room 10.
I walked up the stairs, located in a way that I had to pass the old fart's open door, which made me nervous, and I proceeded to go inside Todd's room.

The Crest Motel. Todd's room was on the top, right above the Yellow cab. Look at the place's jiffy paint job.

That's when I took photographs (see the rest of them at the end of this text).

From the balcony I took a photo of a Yellow Cab parked next to Todd's ride because of the public service announcement on top of it. I spent about 10-15 minutes taking photographs. Nothing much interesting to see, unlike the photos from the Avalon Motel. But enough for this story.

Nothing unusual about a Yellow Cab except for the public service announcement advertisement on top of it. Yeah, you stupid young punks, get them britches up and act right or else Grandma's gonna kick your ass.

Oh, by the way, I didn't take a photograph of The Crest Motel's sign since it was changed from a classic '50s sign into a modern day boring piece of crap, which pissed me off to no end. However, I had captured its old school sign years ago. You can see it by clicking here. It's behind the main subject, the Golden Gate Motel sign.

As we drove to my place for party time Todd said the only bar within walking distance from the Crest Motel was Cherita's Bulldog Sports Bar, a small wood paneled little dump, across the street. He said he walked over there one night and got a bad feeling right away, with some rough lookin' motherfuckers inside drinking. He sat at the bar and ordered a beer. He saw a looker hanging out with a couple of dudes and when she walked over to the jukebox he decided to make a move. He asked her, "What tunes do you like?" After that short, polite exchange they went their separate ways and Todd kept drinking his beer. But then, he said, the guys with the looker started staring at him.

"They seemed upset that I spoke to that woman."

Sensing that too much beer drinking trouble could possibly be brewing (pun intended) Todd said he finished his beer and got the fuck out of there and went back to his room.

"There's a lot of crazy people out there," he said. "I think that place is a biker's hangout because I saw a dude wearing a Banditos leather jacket."

The Banditos have a chapter in Fort Worth.

I told Todd that I'd taken a photograph of that wild and crazy bar's cool sign some time back when I went out hunting photos (instead of humans since I'm not a serial killer). Its small lot was full, and this was around noon on a Friday, and so I had to park around in the back. I got out with of my car with my Nikon D700 digital SLR, with the 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor autofocus lens attached. While walking back to the front of the bar where the sign was I had to walk past the joint's open front door, meaning anyone in there could see me and my camera and think the worst, like I was a private investigator, bounty hunter or some other nefarious crime stopper. After getting the shot I wanted I swiftly walked back to my car but was interrupted by a crusty old fart who had walked out of the bar's front door. Our paths crossed but, fortunately, the only interaction we had was nodding to each other and going on our separate ways.

Boy, was I relieved.

Apparently, according to one reviewer of this dive, I was lucky to escape because after getting home from that shoot I researched the place on the Internet Tubes and found a dissatisfied review of the Bulldog Sports Bar. The reviewer wasn't really happy with his experience there. He wrote this: "Even though there is a sign that says 'No Fighting' it seems the folks running the place are the ones that seem to create the most trouble. A nice atmosphere if you are not constantly concerned when something will break out. Hard to enjoy a cold beer or drink with your buddy while in a constant defensive position. And the whining kid that 'works'? There is more trouble than it's worth to go in. I give it a 1/2 star."

I have been car chased after taking a photo of the notorious Lady Luck on the near south side of Fort Worth by a psycho white trash couple and so, while still willing to take chances, I am always weary when I entertain taking a photograph of a bar.

Actually, if you want to take photos of bars, especially the more shady ones, get to them early in the morning on a Sunday before they open. That's my sage advice.


Room 12. Shot this to give you a better idea of the Miami Vice-like paint job.

This warning sign was placed on the lower floor for everyone to clearly see.

Across the street was the Golden Gate Motel with their classic '50s style sign.
Here's the somewhat obstructed view from Todd's bathroom window.
Ironically enough, Todd had a tube of Crest toothpaste for his stay at the Crest Motel. Nice touch, Todd.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the same place my first ex stayed after I kicked his sorry, non-working, drug-taking, friend screwin' as out. What makes this odd is that my 2nd ex is the one who wrote this story.