Friday, September 9, 2016

Hart's Bottom

As Buena Vista was originally known, and still seems to be most accurate description these days. Here's a 1971 banner that has been kept fresh over the decades.


Haven't learned the tale behind this sign, but the building is for sale

Based on subjective observation, 1971's happy citizens have moved on ... to Lexington, likely. That thriving city is just far enough down the road to make attending Saturday's wine and beer festival this weekend inconvenient for me.

http://business.lexrockchamber.com/events/details/2016-rockbridge-beer-wine-festival-09-10-2016-2

Also, already closed to general admission ... good thing, I suppose, I might have regretted it on Sunday after trying to hitchhike back to the motel late Saturday night.

They do have a fair number of good bands lined up ....

Comparing notes with the motel manger on life as a grandfather ... he says that the family doesn't come and visit him any more, the kids say there's nothing to do -- and since the 2006 recess├Čon, he acknowledges, they're right. Anything that was left when the banks shut their doors got swallowed up by the Walmart and the Lowes in Lexington. He is hanging on for two more years and then dropping out onto Social Security, heading overseas somewhere. According to him, there's no room left for grandparents in this country.

I looked out at the beauty of the surrounding hills (especially Mount Horeb), thinking -- not saying -- what, at least a dozen grandfathers must have crossed paths in these mountains this week, there's festivals in Lexington, and there's rock climbers and other extreme sports communities at Natural Bridge.

Surely ther must be a way to reenergize this town and thousands of others like it, bring them back from the edge of ruin? Maybe by sharing our bounty with them, not gutting their lives to feed higher profit margins somewhere else?

Walking the streets, past the abandoned stores ... looks like one real estate developer is sweeping up a lot of commercial property here. Perhaps he has a plan to bring in something fresh and new? Shopping malls and McMansions, probably, but there's always the possibility of change for the better.

No surprise that T/P signs dominate here, not a single H in sight -- and why should there be? No one really has answers that people want to hear, but he speaks to their rage and we do not.

There's a converted yard storage shed next to the motel offering shaved ice, which should have been doing big business today. When I went over to buy a second round of the largest size they had and remarked on the lack of a line of customers ahead of me, the server said I had likely already bought half of the sales he expected to make that day.

I'll try to keep them in business a little longer.

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