Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Country Store by any other name...



[ FOR BETTER RESOLUTION, CLICK ON IMAGE ] You can name them whatever you like, but all true country stores smell the same. We didn't just read this, in fact, we could write the book on country stores. Unless you've done the leg work, that is, stopped in and checked out a few hundred of them, you'll have take our word on this. For us, country stores are Mustang magnets. We feel the irresistible pull from a quarter mile. 300 wild horses couldn't drag us away.

Legally, well, spiritually, no commercial enterprise may hold itself out as a " country store " if it is situated in a new building. You got a nice new building? You got shiny new gas pumps that take your card then ask whether it's "credit" or "debit" while trying to con you into buying a carwash when you think it's asking if you want a receipt ? You sell aftermarket iPod headsets ? Can customers smell masking agents in the men's room at the checkout ? Then you ain't no country store. All you got there is a dad blasted convenience store.

If you're running a country store, you're probably not getting carded either at the liquor store or when seeking a senior citizen discount at the cafeteria. You probably own the property on which your store has sat for several generations. You inherited it all from your daddy, but the children to whom you want to leave all this have no clue. They just got back from a tattoo trip to Savannah. Your granddaughter has a boy friend from another planet and your grandson's having his nasal hair transplanted after he mistook Magic Shaving Powder for cocaine. By and large you wonder how this world could be so stupid and still breathe on its own.

If you're running a true country store, you're probably not having to dig new holes in which to hide your earnings. Because you live frugally and you own the place and you have few if any employees, you can survive. You may even prosper a bit, but it has long since ceased to be the money which gets you down to the store each morning. It's a way of life, an excuse to grumble, a place to hang your hat. This is what you do, it is who and what you are. You have served customers and made friends one at a time. When they gather around the fresh dirt and someone reads over you, they are also pulling the sheet on a kinder way of life that is ebbing from this gritty world.

The smell of the country store is not chemically defined nor is it from a single element on any shelf. It is an admixture of so many little things which live in the atmosphere of such places. As we roll down the long roads we like to stop and smell the country stores.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Lucia Walinchus said...

Hi. I'm sorry this is a bit unprofessional, but I couldn't find your e-mail. My name is Lucia Walinchus, and I'm a Journalist working for The Post and Courier. I'm doing a story on blogging, and I was wondering if I could interview you. Please call (937-5921) or email (lwalinchus@postandcourier.com) so we can set up a time to chat. Thanks.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Mr. South Carolina said...

This is a very interesting site. I think it's very unique the way you have worked in the 'stang.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Many thanks. We enjoy this very much, but have you noticed that the 'Stang never seems to work US into the pictures?

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'm commenting under false pretenses. I don't really have a comment on your post. Rather, just pouting because there is nothing new today. I have absolutely no right to do so however. I like the concept of starting a blog but truly don't think I could ever come up with anything anyone else would want to read. You however do an excellent job. I look every day to see if you have a new post. Do you think this makes me a Groupie?

3:55 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Groupie? No, but, flattering reader, yes and the comments from whom we greatly appreciate. Also, it's too small a car in which to entertain such favors as an actual groupie might grant.

It is encouraging to hear that someone follows the blog and anticipates future postings.

As to what you may have to offer should you launch a blog, only by making the attempt will you know. The dismal accounts of mundane daily life are plentiful. It could be helpful to read a great variety of them and learn what NOT to do. Pictures are quite an asset and projecting a good nature seems to encourage readership. We poke some fun at those who can take or richly deserve it, but it is never our wish to hurt feelings or to be unkind.

Thanks again for the kind words.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Sunnie (Kaytee) said...

This particular post makes me long for the days when my Papa (grandfather) was alive and we used to sit around listening to Hank Williams. (I was 4.) A few years before he passed away, I would drive to Tennessee with my oldest and visit him every summer. The town, if you can call it that, was so small it had one stop light...and that was more of a flashing yellow light one way, and flashing red light the other. While I'm still young, I value the importance of family traditions. I love country stores and prefer them to most convenience stores.
I enjoyed this post and look forward to more of your posts.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Such small independent country stores are fast disappearing as are the communities in which they are located. In this case, it is Berkeley County which is growing rapidly in the direction of this little store. There isn't much that we can do beyond showing readers what is left, what is about to fall to development.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

3:52 AM  

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