The Circle Inn Is Out

When will I learn my lesson? As soon as I discover a subject to photograph, I should go straight out and shoot it.

A few months ago, while getting myself lost trying to find who knows what, I drove right by the old Circle Inn in Dallas. I guess I had just never driven that particular block before, because it was the first time I had ever seen the old motel.

It was one of the most magnificent Googie signs I had ever come across — big, colorful, with a profusion of neon circles and a swooping, yellow arrow. I have a thing for old motel signs and this particular find was a real jewel. The place was obviously abandoned, so I took note of its location and recorded a reminder in my phone to return soon.

Thinking I might finally get around to shooting it tomorrow, I looked up the Circle Inn in the online newspaper archives for a bit of history. Turns out the whole thing was demolished at the beginning of January!

I couldn't believe it. I didn't even realize it had been that long since I first drove by the place. Was that really before Christmas?!

On the bright side, a collector after my own heart rescued the sign before it was demolished and has put it in storage. Hopefully, he'll get around to displaying it someday. Still, I have no photos of the sign at its original location and I must beat myself up for it so long as I live.

It's time I institute a new rule: Once I come across a new find, I have three weeks to return and shoot it. I think I might have to go back through my old lists, as well, and force myself to check those off before the year is up.

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