Simpler Times – The Country Store
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In some way I think many of us long for simpler times. Now, I’m the very first to acknowledge that the past is looked at through rose colored glasses. Every period in history has its challenges. When we look at the past with longing, it’s often a desire for life at a different pace or, sometimes, the people or places we miss.
This particular art print has a bit of a personal connection. This old country store in Rose Hill, Alabama, was closed when I was very little. But for me it represents the place where my father grew up. He spoke often and fondly of his childhood in rural Covington County. His mother’s grandfathers were among the early settlers of this small farming community. When he remembered life in Rose Hill, it was definitely the simpler times that appealed to him.
After sharing this piece with locals from Rose Hill, I found out the sign above the store actually came years later. When it operated, this country store was JJ Bryant’s store. It closed in 1975 and the sign was apparently added by later owners of the property. But I was never really shooting for an historical piece, this artwork was about the place my dad grew up and the place name was integral to that. It’s also about the sense of community that was once so strong in these little communities. When my father’s generation grew up here, there was a school house across from this store and the church they attended was just around the curve. This little crossroads was the center of life. Every so often, you can still stumble over a little country store that has managed to survive the changing times but not as often as you once would have.
I expected family and others from this small community to appreciate this print. What gladly surprised me was that it has broader appeal. When I first shared it, the overwhelming response was that it reminded people of carefree simpler times or to put it more succinctly, the good old days.
I hope you’ll stop to share your response to this Rose Hill print. Are you from the area? Or does it appeal to you simply from the raw sense of nostalgia it evokes?