Saturday, July 05, 2008


Middle America 2007

Lots of people spent yesterday eating hot dogs and burgers from the grill, waving flags, drinking "lite" beer, watching fireworks, and generally raising hell. In a way, me and the family did, too. We visited old friends in a few towns over, and were treated to grilled burgers, greek salad, and wine.....we brought canolis for dessert. We weren't very festive. Couldn't even get excited by the Sox taking Yankees for the second straight day. So what ingredient was missing that would have made the day more in keeping with celebrating the birth of our nation? Probably not a missing ingredient, but an added one -- that feeling of gloom and doom. I have been for the past couple of years becoming more and more aware of closed and abandoned gas stations. While I have previously posted the above image, it seems somewhat appropriate giving the general social, economic, and political climate of our times. I thought about posting it yesterday, but maybe it's more suited for a day of reflection, rather than a day of celebration. In the sobering light of the day after.....

1 comment:

My Camera World said...

I am from Canada, but even here these once proud vestiges of small town rural life is slowly giving way to what I am not sure.

For my own experiences and this is more from the feeling in older American movies as I have never really lived the rural life except for a few years.

To me these gas stations and the small town grocery stores where the social connection hubs for the people who lived within their radius of travel.

They were where people met, shared stories, traded gossip and in general connected with others in the community without being their best friends.

The strip malls which take the life out of the home-spun stores are removing a type of connections with our neighbors that is not being replaced with the institutional feeling in strip malls.

I do miss the local flavour even when it isn’t surgically clean. In fact I like even more because of the there is something timeless and magical about a place that has hidden gems that may not have been purchased in years.

I do love the way you are documenting this now almost lost way of life.

Niels Henriksen

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