This building at Third Avenue and State Street in my hometown, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, didn't make the cut. It fell to the wrecker's ball not long after I shot this picture in October of 2009. A parking lot for a new court building now occupies its former footprint. The white building to the right in the background, an old county jail, suffered a similar fate. The footprint of the old jail is now an empty lot.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Across the street from the structure you see above, the old State Fruit Co. & Cafe, was another building wrecked about the same time. It (the other building) was home to the last really good shoe-shine stand in town. It was housed, as many of the best shine stands were, in a shoe shop. You could get a good shine for a reasonable price plus an appropriate tip, see a few friends, meet some new ones, and hear some juicy gossip.
The old building was built in 1905. The State Fruit Co. and Cafe was ensconced in the building when I arrived in Pine Bluff in 1963. As you can see, there was some painstaking brick-mason work on the facade of the building.
The shine stand and shoe business pre-deceased the buildings, so the wrecking ball was not the true culprit. Deaths, culture changes, and economic shifts were. Since demolition decisions are beyond my pay grade, while I enjoyed looking at the old structure, I haven't lost any sleep over its demise. And now I shine my own shoes.
Another one bites the dust: A few miles north of State Fruit, just east of the junction of Highway 63 and Rob Roy Road, was where this old barn stood. I shot this in October of 2005. As barns go, this one would not have made a lot of must-see lists. It was, however, in plain view from the highway, so it got a lot of looks and served to remind us of the time and places from whence we came.
Another look at the barn from an old levee that runs parallel with the highway. The white specs in the background are beehives, there to pollinate crops.
It's not as if our memory banks will be erased when the old structures fall. It just means that we will have to think a little harder now that the handy reminders are no longer with us.
N O T E S:
SEE SOME SURVIVORS
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.