Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Texas 2-Step

St. Jo, TX_2 (299, EM5)

We found this mural painted on a wall in St. Jo, Texas.  I figured anything that bright deserved a stop for a picture or two.  It’s not a small sign, as wall art goes.  I’d guess that it’s about 30 feet across and maybe 10 or 15 feet tall.  And YELLOW.  Seriously, seriously yellow.  No pixels have been harmed in the posting of this image, by the way.  This sucker was bright.

One thing I didn’t notice, though, until weeks later, are the shadows near the bottom.  Well, I saw them.  But I didn’t think anything of them.  Cowboys and cows throw shadows when it’s sunny, right?  No big deal.  Except that the cowboys and cows are 2-dimensional.  They can’t “cast” a shadow.  Even in the bright sun.  They’re “stuck” on the damn wall.  They ain’t real.  Nope.  Which means that the shadows were painted on the wall.  Clever of them (and dumb of me).

Perhaps it’s the lingering effect of the recession, but St. Jo looked to me like a town that was prosperous once, but not now.  We didn’t see a lot of people on the main street and a lot of small shops were closed.  Like this shoe store that seems to have specialized in boots.

St. Jo, TX_2 (301, EM5)

The boots were still there – behind a dirty window – but most everything else was gone.  As were the proprietors.  Sad.


5 Responses to “Texas 2-Step”

  1. camillehale10

    Hello, my dad painted that mural. His name is Joel Hale. I was surprised to find a picture of it on here. He wanted it to grab people’s attention and the yellow really worked. I am so proud of him and his art. I just had to brag about him for a second. He has done many of the signs in Saint Jo and has more murals in Nocona, Tx.

    • Paul Maxim

      Well, you should brag about your dad. Especially with respect to this mural. It definitely got my attention in a hurry. And I’m very glad that I can now put a name with this wonderful piece of art.


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