Antique Store Oxymoron

I think this is the first antique shop that I’ve ever seen that was an actual antique itself.   Well, maybe that’s not completely true because I’ve been in some old antique shops, but somehow when they’re open for business and still full of … antiques, they don’t seem quite as old as this antique.  I have a reverence for days gone by and a complete fascination with things that were, especially nowadays with so much construction going on.  It seems that what was yesterday could be something completely different tomorrow.  I guess that’s why whenever I see a quaint old antique building I just have to shoot it.  Still, there are three signs on this building that indicate that they’re still in business.  As one of the signs puts it, “by chance or by appointment.”  I love that.  It’s such a laid back southern way of saying, “call me, and if I’m not out on the lake or busy barbecuing, maybe we can do business.”

Church Street Antiques 1Church Street Antiques 2

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My Little Town

Despite the record heat we’re experiencing here in the South, there are parts of my little town that appear to be frozen in time.

I grew up a “northerner,” but this little time-capsule of a southern town has not only a sweet sadness to it, but it oddly ties back to my childhood when I lived in Long Island and then New Jersey.  My dad worked in the textile industry all of his adult life.  For a long time when we lived in Long Island, my dad would travel back and forth to the office in New Jersey- a grueling two-hour, one-way trip, until we finally moved to New Jersey when I was in the 9th grade.  After my mom passed away, dad traveled more for work – mostly to well … here, the South.  

He would often tell me about Fort Mill and Rock Hill, towns right near where I live now, but I don’t remember him mentioning my little town.  Still I do seem to recall him mentioning a company called Southern Industries.  There’s a huge abandoned building in my town called Southern Industries.  From some short research, I found out that this was a yarn factory.  I do remember when I was younger that he would bring home samples of strings of yarn that I would either use as decorative ties for my ponytail (hey it was the 70s) or if I had a handful, I’d braid them and then sew them into little mini rugs for my mother.  I was crafty, even as a kid.  I called them rugs, she used them as trivets or coasters, not that I made that many.  I’m sure she was grateful for that.

southern-industries-of-clover-2

I’m reasonably sure that this was one of my father’s stops on his trips to the South.  Even though I live in South Carolina, where a lot of mills used to employ thousands of people, I’m also a few hops and skips from the Charlotte, North Carolina border.  Charlotte is also pretty famous for it’s old textile factories, most of which are now turning quickly into breweries.  Hey, that’s not a bad idea, Clover.

You look at this building and you could easily be sad for a time gone by, but I can’t help but smile.  It’s kind of like seeing into my dad’s world, the part I never really knew much about.  When I was there yesterday, there was a man on a tractor mowing the lawn, and as is obvious from the bushes on the right-hand side of the photo, someone is trimming the bushes. But the building itself is riddled with broken windows and it looks, well … abandoned.

I must have a thing for old buildings, even the abandoned ones – they have character, they hold history, they’ve got stories to tell.  I couldn’t get as close to Southern Industries as I got to the snuff factory in New Jersey, or as close as one gentleman did to this building – see his pics on Flickr.  He’s got some amazing pictures of the inside.

Right across the street from the yarn factory is another time-lost treasure: the building-sized, hand-painted advertisement.  If you look at the bottom left, it’s even signed by the artist.  It’s really not that old, but I still like it.  I’ve always wanted to a take shot of this wall. Had I done it earlier, perhaps it would have been a little cleaner, but oh well, it adds to the charm I guess.

coca-cola-clover

I just can’t figure out if the Coke came in two sizes or if Clayton’s Shoes only carried two sizes of shoes.

Next time I get to the center of town, I’ll have other timeless treasures to share – like Movie Mania, the local tape rental store – and for those of you younger than 40, by tape I mean a VCR tape.  Back in the day, before we recorded stuff, we taped it.  Obviously Movie Mania has figured out what Blockbuster couldn’t.  The last time I passed there on my  way to a friend’s house, we were “fixin'” to get a big storm and the parking lot to Movie Mania was packed.  I don’t have my VCR anymore, but apparently, the good people of my little town were not swayed by the advancements of modern technology.  Good for them.

I’m all for the modern conveniences of life, but places like this, and like the places I travel to in Upstate New York with my cousin, all have parts that seem to take you back to a much simpler time – a time I remember, and it feels somehow comforting.  If you ever feel like your immediate world is getting a little too big for it’s britches, come on down to my little town to get a taste of days gone by.

 

 

Looking Back

After yesterday’s post, I decided to look back at old photos (from 2012/2013) to get me back in the groove of getting out there with my camera.  I wanted to recapture that inspired feeling.  Like crafts and art, photography is my Zen – it’s my outlet:  it all keeps me sane.  I think that’s why even though I love oceans and architecture and everything in between – my real peace is found in seeing green.  I think the thing that scares me more than anything is that I came from a place that used to be hugely green and now it’s full of housing developments that leave practically no natural elements.  And I see that happening here now too.  I guess it’s easier to drive a bulldozer through a stretch of nature than it is to go around it.  Photographing things that may not be here tomorrow is my way of preserving beautiful landscapes.  I can’t imagine being someone who never gets to feel the peace of looking out and seeing nothing but nature as far as the eye can see.  So here’s more green stuff and more old structures.  Indulge me.  And if I’ve repeated any photos here, then I guess they bear repeating.

As Far as the Eye Can See

As Far as the Eye Can See

Dualing Barns

Dualing Barns

Instead of old buildings, I see history.

God Bless America

God Bless America

I saw on Facebook how everyone is posting pics holding the American flag and it made think of this photo taken in 2012.  I’m happy to say that this structure is still standing today.  I’m all for modern conveniences, but a little preservation goes a long way in my book.

StationI’m glad I got this shot when I did.  Although the gas station is still standing and the house next to it still abandoned, the back building (on the left) has suffered some real weather-related damage.  I keep thinking this will be taken down before long, but as of today, it’s still standing.

Some people call me a “city girl” but there’s a little bit of country in here too.