Sunday, July 18, 2010
If you take a look at a lot of rural communities, it's not a stretch to imagine that the current American financial meltdown is not a recent development. This old store at Grapevine, Arkansas, is a good example. From the looks of things, it's been many a year since the proprietor rang up the last RC Cola and Moon Pie. When the store closed, it didn't make headlines and no TARP funds, to our knowledge, were made available to bail out the store. The doors were simply closed.
After the doors closed, the old store gained a new attractiveness to scavengers, much like a recently deceased critter attracts buzzards, bugs, and other members of Mother Nature's surly clean-up crew. Ma Nature's crew is serving a noble purpose. It's a nasty job, but these varmints are genetically bent to enjoy their work.
As for the two-legged scavengers, they are about as welcome as beriberi, rickets, dandruff, and fallen arches. But like the four seasons, they just keep on coming until the carcass is picked clean. The owner of the property, now defenseless, does the best he or she can with signs, and in this case, spray paint — with dismal results.
From the looks of the chairs between the pumps, the time-honored tradition of sitting on the front porch, telling lies, and watching traffic go by was practiced after the business activities ceased and desisted. From the less-than-staggering traffic count, we presume there were probably more lies than traffic. One never knows. In addition to the chairs, in the background there's a defunct DeWalt table saw and the remnants of building materials.
Back in the early sixties, there was another store in Grapevine. It was the archetypical country store, with a big porch, big glass windows in front, well-worn wooden floors, glass display cases, and a pot-bellied stove. Behind the counter was a cashier who would have been at home on a mechanic's calendar or garnering envious sneers from fellow-contestants in the Miss America competition.
That old store is now a weed-infested lot, having fallen victim to the times. The would-be Miss America is probably drawing Social Security somewhere. I remember both fondly.
N O T E S:
LATER, I FOUND
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.