Saturday, February 14, 2009

PTL CLUB Rots Again!

The last couple of places I visited at the old PTL/Heritage USA site were the convention center and the "Upper Room". The last time I'd seen the convention center, the roof had partially collapsed and the interior of the building was full of water. Since then, someone with lots of money has come through and renovated the place. And they've seemingly done a pretty good job of it.

The facade looks okay, and there's new glass in all of the doors and windows. Maybe they're actually going to use the place again. One has to wonder what it was like in the great days of Jim and Tammy with all of the comings and goings and millions of people flocking through. Oy.


The convention center as it looks today. Not too bad for the neglect it suffered for so long. The parking lot is about the only decrepit part of it--cracked and weedy and looking forlorn.

The waiting area for the tram that will never arrive. This, too, looked to have been renovated a bit in recent years. Or maybe it's just been relatively dry and free of well-deserved rot.

No comment.

The guard rails along this road that runs around the convention center are almost completely rotted away. Whole sections were missing. I should have gotten out of my truck and taken a photo of the road itself--pocked and strewn with the accumulation of years of compacted leaf litter.

And then it was off to "the Upper Room"! Now, this was the weirdest place of them all! Outwardly, it looks to be in fairly good repair. But that's misleading, once you get up close and take a good look. Then you notice how it's going south.

The walkway had these paving stones adjacent to it. Each of them had some Biblical quote etched into it. This one, in retrospect, was pretty much waaaaaaaay the fuck off the mark.

Off center of the Upper Room a little was this sculpture of Pontius Pilate and entourage condemning Jesus Christ to death. I don't know who did this thing, but he sucks. The figures are crude and stiff. Someone must have done it for free. Looks like a high school nudnick did it.

Pontius Pilate with cabbage leaves or something on his noggin.

Jesus also complete with cabbage leaves on his head and additional crown of--ten penny nails??! With clueless centurion in attendance.

Someone stole the centurion's javelin!

What? Don't look at me! (Said the evil priest with cabbage leaves stuck to his face.)

Part of a covered walkway leading to a door in the Upper Room. Looks like either the wind or someone swept it out recently.

This was in a little alcove. Not sure what that is in the pot--socks? Underwear? Rag? Hanky? (Ick.)

Stair leading away from the alcove. You can see the plaster flaking away as weather works at the structure. If they don't tear it down, Mother Nature is going to do it for them.

Another alcove at the bottom of the Upper Room. It was packed with leaves--at least one season's worth.

The absolute weirdest thing about the Upper Room. It looks as if there's actually some dude buried there!!! Some guy named Aubrey Sara. When he got planted there, they probably figured this was going to be some kind of shrine forever and ever and ever. How wrong they were. Looks like someone comes here occasionally to sweep off the concrete bricks over the grave site and pull up the weeds. Needs another weeding, I'd say.

Closeup of the plaque above the grave, complete with "No Trespassing" sign. The word "love" or a variation of it appears four times in the first four lines of the plaque. Guess the dude was jam-packed with love.

If you're headed to see the vestiges of Jim & Tammy's collapsed scam kingdom, you'd best hurry. Most of it's been cannibalized by land developers and new religious shysters. The best of the decay was circa 2003 or so. Now it's springing up with new, secular life and the old religious buildings are mainly either gone or will soon be taken over by newer churches and such. So hurry along if you want to see what hasn't been gobbled up or hasn't yet, quite fallen into total decrepitude. It's worth the trip as a curiosity, especially if you, like me, recall the days when millions of morons flocked to be fleeced here.

2 comments:

Kirk G said...

Lemmings.

James Robert Smith said...

Indeed.