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Photos of mine, printed ABOVE the fold…

August 28, 2006, 7:51 AM

How often can you say that your photos end up on the front page of the local newspaper? And above the fold, no less. If you look at the August 28, 2006 edition of The News Virginian, you will see two photos anchoring an article about the Skyline Parkway Motel, which, you may recall, had been abandoned for some time, and then was torched in 2004. Both of them are tagged with “Photo courtesy of BEN SCHUMIN”. Here are the photos that the newspaper ran:

Skyline Parkway Motel before the fire  Skyline Parkway Motel after the fire

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The first fires took two buildings…

August 6, 2006, 1:22 AM

The Waynesboro Outlet Village on August 4, 2006

The fires set at the Outlet Village by the local fire departments for training purposes actually brought two buildings to the ground. They burned the barn, which formerly housed Gitano, the Artisans Center, and OCAT, but also tiny Building 18, which housed the mailboxes for the complex, and which also at one point housed a tourist information center. As you can see, #18 is completely gone, and then all that’s left of the barn is the silo, which now has dark markings on it from the fire. Additionally, the shingles are missing on the edge of the roof closest to the barn on Building 5, and the siding is noticeably melted on the front of Building 2.

So there you go. And with the conventional demolition of Building 16 well underway, that makes three down, and 15 to go (I mistakenly said there were 17 buildings in the complex earlier – there are actually 18).

Categories: Outlet Village

And when the smoke clears…

August 4, 2006, 9:39 AM

According to The News Virginian, the barn-like building, that housed a Gitano outlet, and later the Artisans Center of Virginia and OCAT, was torched for firefighter training. So say goodbye:

Building 3

And according to the same article, a neighboring building was to be burned to the ground as well for outdoor training. And this is the first of a series, too, as fire officials have received permission to torch almost the entire complex before it’s all said and done. Maybe I’ll get to go to one of these to watch – from a safe distance, of course.

And I’m going to quick swing by there on my way to work today and get a couple of photos with my phone.

Categories: Outlet Village

The last photo of the Outlet Village (mostly) whole?

August 3, 2006, 6:22 PM

Waynesboro Outlet Village on August 3, 2006

This is perhaps the last photo that will be taken of the Waynesboro Outlet Village mostly intact. I heard on WSVA on the way home from work that tonight at 7:00 (about at the time I’m writing this), area fire departments will be using the former Outlet Village as a training exercise. Thus instead of just straight demolishing the complex, they will be burning it down first. It will certainly serve our local fire departments well, as they will have the opportunity to train in how to fight a fire in a commercial building. And with the Outlet Village consisting of many buildings (17 according to the map, though #15 is already partly demolished), there will be no shortage of buildings to torch for training purposes. I’ll try to get pictures of the Outlet Village from the same vantage point tomorrow, after they’ve torched it.

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Categories: Outlet Village

By the way, this is the other side of the sign…

June 13, 2006, 12:48 AM

Remember this photo from the Outlet Village photo set?

Outlet Village welcome sign

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Categories: Outlet Village

Photographing the Waynesboro Outlet Village before it all comes down…

January 12, 2006, 6:38 PM

Today, I went to see the Waynesboro Outlet Village for what will likely be the last time. The January 6 issue of the Staunton News Leader ran an article discussing how the Outlet Village will be demolished this summer to make way for a new shopping center.

Let me tell you… the Outlet Village is a “dead mall”. When we first moved to this area in 1992, the Waynesboro Outlet Village was alive and full of stores, and most of them were factory outlet stores. Then in the mid-1990s, something changed (I think a management change is what did it), and stores started to leave the Outlet Village, leaving the place in its current form. As of my visit today, there are five stores in operation. Let me name them: Liz Claiborne (which was having a going-out-of-business sale), Paper Factory, Tile Visions, Virginia Metalcrafters, and the Artisans Center of Virginia. All of these stores are isolated from each other in the Outlet Village as far as location goes.

Then there are also a number of non-traditional tenants, as there’s a nonprofit computer refurbishing service in one location, as well as One Child at a Time, aka OCAT, in another building. In other words, a few spots are filled up with offices. This is nothing new – I was hired by Borg-Warner Staffing for CFW Information Services (later Telegate) at the Outlet Village. Borg-Warner had offices in 7F. Borg-Warner, like the rest of them, is now gone from that location, having presumably folded up shop there when Telegate closed their Waynesboro call center in April 2002.

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Categories: Outlet Village, Waynesboro

“THIS IS THE SERVICE DESK! STEP AWAY FROM THE RETURNS AND KEEP YOUR HANDS UP!”

September 2, 2004, 11:43 PM

Yeah, when it gets slow as the night continues on, we get a tad silly. Our scanners at the Service Desk are handheld and wireless, and are somewhat gun-shaped. And when an associate held up an item so I could scan it to find out what department it was in, I kind of hammed it up a little. Took my scanner gun, held it with both hands, aimed, and fired at the item in question. Zap.

When I saw the associate was amused, I hammed it up a little more, posing and jokingly saying, “This is the Service Desk! Step away from the returns and keep your hands up!”

Yeah, we’re nutty. Good, harmless fun. And it works even better with a telxon (pronounced TEL-a-zon), since those things have a longer business-end than our scanners do.

As you can tell, I had a really good day today. I also went over to SmartStyle (in-store hair place) on my lunch break and got my ears lowered. And just to illustrate how much hair I needed to get cut off, I now have a very neat and attractive haircut (can’t keep the girls off me!). But before lunch, I was so shaggy that I could have made great money renting myself out as a mop. I was really shaggy.

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Skyline Parkway Motel… people were charged!

August 7, 2004, 1:04 AM

An update regarding the recent fire at the Skyline Parkway Motel…

Turns out that it was arson, which we were not surprised about. And the building is a total loss. Also not a surprise. The surprise is how old the three suspects are. There are two 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old charged with the Class 4 felony of setting fire to an unoccupied dwelling. I’d have thought it would have been people who were at least legally adults, rather than kids. But go figure. Anyway, though, since they are children in the eyes of the law, or as the law calls them, “juveniles”, their names were not released.

I understand why their names were not released, but I so want to put the “Nick and Adam” theory to rest. Recall that some days before the fire, the previously-blank sign in front of the motel read “NICK AND ADAM”. Recall this from a previous journal entry:

"Nick and Adam" at the Skyline Parkway Motel, post-fire

I so want to put that theory to rest and either have it be the case or not be the case, because I really want to see if people are actually stupid enough in real life to prominently place their name on the crime scene, showing to the world how stupid they are. Just remember… never underestimate the power and speed of stupid.

Photos of the Skyline Parkway Motel fire, and some other stuff

July 15, 2004, 1:56 PM

First of all, before I start showing you photos, guess who I saw on Tuesday afternoon at Wal-Mart. I saw Mrs. Kucs (pronounced “kooch”), my sixth grade math teacher at Stuarts Draft Middle School. That was a lot of fun. She’s retired now, so I don’t see her around SDMS when I go visit. Still, Mrs. Kucs was a great teacher. The one phrase that has stayed with me that I learned from Mrs. Kucs was “That will be fifty whacks with a wet noodle!” All in all, great math teacher, and it was great to see Mrs. Kucs again.

Anyway, after seeing Mrs. Kucs as I was leaving work, I headed out to Afton Mountain and then beyond. Going to Afton, I went by way of downtown Waynesboro, because I had a few other photo spots I wanted to hit on the way. For one, the “scar” on the mountain in Waynesboro:

The scar on the mountain in Waynesboro

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It was nice while it lasted…

July 11, 2004, 10:38 AM

Remember this?

Skyline Parkway Motel, September 10, 2003

For those of you who don’t know, this is the Skyline Parkway Motel, which, along with the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, and the Skyline Parkway Motor Court, I photographed on September 10, 2003 for the Afton Mountain: Victim of Progress photo set.

Things have changed since then.

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