Tag Archives: small town america

Stop & Take a Photo – It’s National Camera Day!

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Children at the FSA Camelback Farms inspect the photographer’s camera. Phoenix, Arizona, 1942 – Russell Lee

Not many things have changed history in quite the way that the camera has. Walking around with one in our pocket thanks to those handy smart phones, they may be easy to take for granted in 2015. Every year, on June 29th, however, we’re all encouraged to stop and appreciate what it means to be able to “capture” all those moments that until 1839, quickly slipped away.

We have Louis Jacques Daguerre to thank for starting it. He took the first fixed image that didn’t fade all the way back in 1839. We have George Eastman to thank for creating flexible film that could be rolled, leading to the sale of the first Kodak in 1888. In the years that followed, we’ve seen the introduction of the first “affordable” 35mm cameras, and then in the middle of the 20th century, the introduction of what could be one of the most fondly remembered cameras of all… the Polaroid. In 1948, the world’s first instant-picture camera was born with no development needed, and the well-recognized act of impatiently shaking the photo while waiting for it to process began! Who would have ever guessed back then that by the late 1980’s our cameras would be digital and just over 20 years later, every phone we carry would allow us to instantly grab a shot of all the little moments of lives, much less instantly publish them online for the world to see!

It’s national camera day TODAY so take a few moments to give a thought or two to just how far we’ve come… and then take a few photos to share!



The History of Father’s Day – The Holiday That Almost Wasn’t

Having been a recognized day of celebration for just over 100 years in the United States, Father’s Day is a relatively new tradition. Inspired by Mother’s Day, Father’s Day began in the early 20th century, but, believe it or not, was not embraced with nearly as much enthusiasm in those early years.

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1940s USA Father’s Day Cards Magazine Plate Picture: Courtesy of The Advertising Archives

Where Did Father’s Day Begin?

There are varying opinions of where and when the very first Father’s Day Celebration took place in the US. It is, however, largely accepted that we can credit Ms. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd for its eventual widespread success. Her inspiration was her own father, a Civil War Veteran who, having lost his wife during the birth of their sixth child, became a single parent responsible for a newborn and five other children. Having been raised by this dedicated and loving father, at 27, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd took up the cause of campaigning for a celebration of fatherhood that was equal to that of Mother’s Day. She first suggested the holiday in Spokane, WA in 1909 and then led that city’s first Father’s Day celebration at the YMCA of Spokane in June 1910. It wasn’t until 1930’s however, the holiday began have some traction at the national level.

What Makes Father’s Day the Holiday that Almost Wasn’t?

In the 1930’s, as Sonora Louise Smart Dodd was seeking to raise awareness for Father’s Day at the national level, she did so with the support of trade groups that would benefit commercially from the holiday – the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes and any other traditional presents for fathers. Many men viewed the holiday as unnecessary and commercial in the early years. One historian has been quoted as saying that men “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.” The holiday held on, though, probably less because of the efforts of merchants and advertisers and more because of the love of joy seen in a child’s eyes when they pick out just the right tie for the male hero in their life. It took some time, but in 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon finally signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.

vintage fathers day artwork
1950s USA Daughters Hugging Father Magazine Plate Picture: Courtesy of The Advertising Archives

Get Outside!

June is National Great Outdoors Month


Few things are as American as the State and National parks that represent our natural heritage, and June is a whole month dedicated to exploring them! What started as Great Outdoors Week by Presidential Proclamation under President Clinton in 1998 has been expanded to a month long event through the support of Presidents following him. Full of events like National Trails Day, National Get Outdoors Day, the Great American Campout and more, there is no lack of opportunities for you to hook up your trailer (if you’re lucky you have one of these 1952 Airstreams) and get outdoors!

Find events near you here.


great outdoors month antique archaeology


Nashville Fashion Alliance

It Starts in Nashville But Means So Much More

Everyone who lives in one of America’s small towns or spends time visiting them is aware of the way they have been impacted by the decline in American manufacturing. Perhaps nowhere is it more apparent than visiting towns that were built long ago around facilities creating American made clothing. In Nashville, a group of dedicated people are working to revive that industry.Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 4.26.15 PM

Nashville Fashion Alliance has come together not just to fill in the gaps for the growing fashion industry in Nashville, but also to develop a model that has the potential to revitalize America’s small towns across the country. Having successfully reached their initial Kickstarter campaign funding goals, they are one step closer to bridging the gap between the Nashville local creative community and area manufacturing resources that can meet their production needs. NFA is out to prove that we CAN bring manufacturing back to American communities!

We All Want to See Apparel Manufacturing Return to US Shores, But Where Does It Start?

It starts where many things start, with education and awareness. People have to understand how their buying choices effect the industry at large and choose to shop local and American Made when they can. Communities have to invest in the education and training of people to work in the apparel industry and recognize the value of that business to their area. Nashville Fashion Alliance, knowing education, awareness, and training are key, are conducting studies on economic impact and they are partnering with local community organizations to provide training and development to people who need the opportunity to enter the apparel industry workforce.

What Can The Success of Nashville Fashion Alliance Mean For Small Town America?

NFA is poised to execute a program in their city that can be duplicated across the country to support the efforts of bringing similar manufacturing jobs back home. Supporting their efforts is supporting job creation in the places so many of us hold dear.

What Can You Do To Help?

Read more about their efforts, spread the word, and stay up to date on their struggles and successes.

Further Reading:

The Tennessean – imogene + willie – Nashville Scene

Follow Nashville Fashion Alliance Online:

Website and Facebook

Contact NFA

Van Tucker // CEO Nashville Fashion Alliance //Van@NashvilleFashionAlliance.com

Nashville Local Fashion Designers – imogene + willie
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Yve Assad Motorcycle Photography

Documenting Life’s Adventures in Travel & Moto Photos

Mike Wolfe American Picker, Two Lanes blog, motorcycle photography, marathon village, vintage motorcycle
Photo By Yve Assad. Setting courtesy of Marathon Village, home of Antique Archaeology Nashville.

Yve Assad is a photographer after our own hearts. Based in Nashville, TN and shooting commercial, editorial & fine art photography, specializing in motorcycles & travel, Yve deems herself to be a photographer by land & air. She is just that. Life’s adventures on the road are hard to truly capture, but Yve has a knack for documenting two wheeled travel & lifestyle in a stunning yet honest way. Check out some of our favorites.

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Photo by Yve Assad. Dan Auerbach with The Lucky Riders.

Above is Dan Auerbach with the Lucky Riders. See more of the Lucky Riders’ adventures on the road on the Two Lanes Blog here, where you can take a glimpse into their Mississippi Delta trip in photos.

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Photo by Yve Assad. Blackbirds, Nashville, TN.

A beloved subject of Yve’s motorcycle lifestyle work, she profiled Nashville’s BlackBird Moto Assembly for readers of The Mighty Motor. Read how they started & take a look at more of Yve’s work online here.

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Photo by Yve Assad

Want Yve to document your adventures? Commission her here. You can also follow her on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1Kgacx1 and on Instagram here. Word of warning though. Her work may inspire wanderlust and motorcycle shopping.

Mike Wolfe American Picker, Two Lanes blog, motorcycle photography, vintage motorcycle, yve assad
Photo by Yve Assad

All Photos Copyright Yve Assad Photography.


 National Odometer Day – May 12

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National Odometer Day is celebrated each year on May 12.

Who knew that there’s a day to celebrate the odometer? More than likely, you’re aware that an odometer is an instrument that indicates the distance traveled by a vehicle, but there is an interesting fact about this little car clock that hints at what we think is most important about it.

Where & when did the odometer come to be?

Odometer comes from the Greek words hodos meaning path or gateway andmetron, meaning measure. You may be surprised to learn that they were actually first developed in the 1600′s for wagons and other horse-drawn vehicles in order to measure distances traveled. Those little gadgets have been around way longer than vehicles we travel in today. As for the modern odometer, the first one for automobiles appeared in 1903, was developed by Arthur P. and Charles H. Warner of Beloit, Wisconsin, and was patented as the “Auto-Meter”.

What do we think is the most interesting odometer tidbit?

In some countries, an odometer is called a mileometer, milometer or tripometer. We’re thinking that maybe we’ll start calling ours a “tripometer” too, because it’s not the distance travelled that matters the most, but the things seen, people met, and memories made with every trip you take.

Happy Odometer Day! Tick off some miles on your trip-ometer today and we’ll see ya on the back roads!

 Photo courtesy of @mikewolfeamericanpicker Instagram. Follow Mike here for more shots from the backroads.



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One the best things about traveling two lanes, picking through piles of dust and rust, is the people you meet along the way. They are the people that love junk as much as I do and sometimes, they have a way of articulating what I find hard to explain.

Lots of people believe in history and preservation. Lots of people love rusty, old stuff, but not all of them understand my love of AMERICAN MADE old stuff. Let’s face it, America is still in diapers and our old stuff, in the grand scheme of things, just isn’t all that old. Our history has just begun to be written.

On the road in Virginia last year, I met a hard bargaining woman from Portugal at The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum at Luray Caverns. I heard a lot no’s that day (and even saw one as she wrote it in the dust of an old truck fender), but she also said something while we there that totally summed up the importance of our American Made “junk”.

Being raised in Portugal, “When I first got here,” she began, “I didn’t understand it. Where I come from, everything is so old, so I saw something here that was a 100 years, 150 years…I thought, well, it’s basically just junk. But now I’ve gotten to appreciate it. It’s not the time spent, it’s what’s accomplished in a little time, and for that, what happened in America is unique.”

I guess sometimes the perspective of someone who wasn’t born here is all we really need. Our American story, our progress, it’s unique, and the junk that tells that story, that shows that progress… well, it’s just priceless!

See ya on the back roads!

Your picker, Mike Wolfe


Miss the episode? It’s available on the History Channel YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NdpeYyhlBI

Plan your visit to Luray Caverns by visiting them online here: http://luraycaverns.com/

Photo Courtesy of Luray Caverns Facebook Page, October 2014.


Two Lane Travel Log

The Mississippi Delta In Pictures


All work & no play would make Mike a dull Wolfe, but where does a Wolfe play? Not surprisingly, on the same two lane back roads where he works, but after swapping out four wheels for two. Two lane traveling Mike Wolfe style often looks a lot like this tale in pictures, brought you to courtesy of the Lucky Riders in the Mississippi Delta.


Just the Right Rides

Knuckleheads & high cotton.

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Road Buddies

Lucky Riders – Family & Friends

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mike wolfe and robbie wolfe MS backroads

I Brake for Patina

Rustoration on wheels in a Mississippi Delta Junk Yard

car mississippi delta

Mississippi Delta Must See

Ground Zero Blues Club – Worth the ride, man!

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 Room With View

From the Alcazar Hotel

view from alcazar hotel mississippi

Two Lanes Style

Vintage or bust.

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Until Next Time!
See ya on the back roads!!

Photos courtesy of @mikewolfeamericanpicker on Instagram. Follow him here to keep with all his back roads travel & more.