Monday, February 13, 2012

Fifteen Extra Minutes and a Camera

Giving a blogger fifteen extra minutes, and a camera in hand, is a dangerous thing. I drove to Greenville today, and stopped along the way to snag some photos I've been wanting for a while. First, I noticed some ice clinging to the side of a sunny hill. It's been cold here.
I finally took a shot of my Very Favorite Mountain Home. It's a bad photo, with the glare, and the trees, and the car reflection. I stopped the car in the middle of the road. There was no traffic. (Don't worry; no cars were wrecked nor pedestrians run over, in the taking of these photos.)
Here are the ones I've been longing for, for years. Bob's Place. Yes, it does exist. This is "Appalachian Americana" at its best.
The tables outside Bob's Place. We had one of these massive spools when I was a kid. We rolled it around the yard and called it "The War Machine." Then we turned it on end and used it for a table on Saturday night hotdog cookouts. That was in Virginia, forty years ago.
But here -- Ah, here is the classic. A hand-made shack behind Bob's Place, called "The Road Kill Grill."  Bwahahaha! We've guffawed over that name for decades! I've always wanted to photograph it, but I was a bit afraid. The sign below says, "Keep Out." And across the way is a much bigger sign that says, "It's not Illegal to be a Biker." Yikes!
On down the road a piece, I found this charming signage and store. In the South, these places are in all rural locals. The parking lot was packed, so the cafe must be good eatin'.
This field was freshly turned. This is how very red our clay soil is, in the South. It warmed my heart to see the beginnings of planting season.
Now here's a fun tale. This lovely stone wall and spigot of mountain stream water is beside the road. It runs constantly. It used to have a sign over it, "Not Potable Water." (In other words, "not safe to drink, technically speaking.") But it's icy cold mountain water, and probably better for you than lots of city water.
Anyway, a dear older friend told us once that, when he was a boy, they drove up into the NC mountains each summer to escape the heat in the lowlands. And half-way up the mountain, their old car would need a cooling for the radiator. They would stop here, at this spigot, to refill the radiator and cool themselves. It's been servicing roadside travelers for many, many years.
I drove home from Greenville in late afternoon with setting sun and gathering clouds.
Someone along the curving mountain road has what we've always called the Truck Graveyard. It's where old trucks come to retire and die, I guess. There aren't as many as there were 20 years ago. I suppose he shoves them over the edge, when they've given up the ghost.

I went to Greenville to spend several wonderful hours with a dear, dear friend whom I hadn't seen for about 15 years, and her beautiful, bright daughter, who's a student at the university. Yes, I remembered to photograph the Road Kill Grill, and the dead trucks, but I completely forgot to get a photo of Janet, Anna, and me. Such is the discouraging progression of age. Maybe I'll remember next time. In another 15 years, when we're both grandmas. Sigh!!

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