The sights, sites and sounds of Paducah


Finkel's Fair Store

Paducah is an old river town with character stemming from its buildings and people.

This western Kentucky city sits on the Ohio River. Much of its downtown dates to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Old paint advertisements — some long faded – add to the city’s unique appeal. It’s not uncommon to see old Mail Pouch Tobacco signs, but they generally are on barns. Not so in Paducah. One of those ubiquitous signs

Mail Pouch Tobacco sign

adorns a building at 129 S. Water St. The sign is faded; that adds to picture.

From the same vantage point as the Mail Pouch photo is the red sign for Finkel’s Fair Stores. The clothing and shoe store used to occupy this store until 1989. As the sign advertises, Finkel’s had a couple of stores in surrounding small towns. The stores are gone, but the sign proudly and brightly isn’t. I remember as a boy going with my great grandfather Papa and grandmother Mom to get a pair of Wrangler jeans.

Not far from Finkel’s is the downtown band gazebo. On this day, Captain Freddy and the Rivercats played

Captain Freddy

Dixieland jazz. Captain Freddy sang and strummed his banjo to an accompaniment of bass, trombone and trumpet filled the bright sunny day…a welcome change to the endless days of rain and threats of flooding.

It felt good to have a sunny day and the opportunity to seek out photos. Seeing unique pictures of shapes and texture is my challenge. At one location, I stayed outside while Lisa went into a downtown quilting store. I passed the time looking for an interesting shot. Above my head was this single insulator surrounded by the textures of the bricks, rusted iron and concrete. I love this kind of photo.

Insulator and texture

I imagine the women sitting outside the store thought I was nuts for taking pictures of the side of a building (“Mabel, that boy ain’t right. What’s he taking a picture of?”).

That’s OK, I take photographs for the same reason I write…for myself.

(Click here for more photos of Paducah and Captain Freddy and the Rivercats.)

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