Winchester, no cathedral


This sign is the last vestige of fomer retail activity at Winchester, Arkansas. Winchester is not by itself. Thousands of other small towns have suffered a similar fate. Others, not yet so afflicted will follow. It is the way of our times.

This sign is the last vestige of fomer retail activity at Winchester, Arkansas. Winchester is not by itself. Thousands of other small towns have suffered a similar fate. Others, not yet so afflicted will follow. It is the way of our times.

If you breeze through the intersection of US Highway 65 and Arkansas Highway 138 and think you’ve just passed through Winchester, guess again. What you’ve passed through is the eastern most suburb of Winchester. Had you made a right turn on 138, in a quarter mile or so, you’d see Winchester.  Winchester has a post office, a fire station and a city hall. And a still standing Sinclair sign. And folks.  And their domiciles.

A good place to click

A lot of folks wind up here as a result of visiting the Photo of the Week page on Corndancer dot com. Now that you know about Winchester, click here to find out about Chester and Lester as well, at the photo of the week page.

The best laid plans …

Winchester was not a part of the plan for this post. Some magnificent cypress trees about another 45 minutes south were the intended target. However, at about Winchester, the pickup engine began some obnoxious behavior and I decided to do a 180. The guages were all happy, so one presumes, it’s a sullen microchip somewhere. So I figured a whirl through Winchester (the western part) would be OK. I was rewarded with the Sinclair sign. Probably, the former station had a social function as well as its utilitarian destiny. Most small town filling stations did.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

Blooming Bradford Pear trees frame the Jefferson County Courthouse on Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansdas.

Blooming Bradford Pear trees frame the Jefferson County Courthouse on Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. These trees line both sides of the street.

Now returned back to minutes from home, there’s a fast-fading opportunity, to wit: blooming Bradford Pear trees. Our home-town downtown is lined with those suckers. They are peaking out now. In 24 to 36 hours, the trees will transform from white to green as the new leaves take hold. The time to shoot is now.

Bradford Pear Blooms at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas on Main Street in Pine Bluff AR.

Bradford Pear blooms at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas on Main Street in Pine Bluff AR. It's late Sunday. The parking lot is usually not empty.


Last, but certainly not least

Old Glory and Bradford Pear blooms greet visitors to this drive-in branch bank just off Main Street in Pine Bluff AR. The tree is not actually as high as the flag. The view is from a service lane looking up. “Forced perspective” makes you think the tree is taller than the flag.

Three cheers for the red white, white, and blue.

Three cheers for the red white, white, and blue.


Update on the pickup

March 4, 2009 — Nothing serious. Some ignition components showing signs of age. Joe Webb, 12th degree master mechanic,  diagnosed the issues and did the fix. Well, after 210,000 miles, what can one expect. It is now hauling booty again!

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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3 Responses

  1. This post has caught me in two diverging thoughts.

    One are the blooms in Pine Bluff. Ah yes, the signs of spring are approaching us who are more to the north .. yet March likes to remind us that we’re not yet there … but we’re still getting close.

    The images and the thought of the spring ahead takes me back to my post about baseball’s spring training … which I hope you read. If you don’t mind, for your readers … http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/on-the-approach-of-the-pasttime/

    I love your line on Corndancer about towns ending in “-ester.” Makes me want to make a list. Hmmmmm …

    On the barn, I love the way the roof on the right is extended.

    My other major thought is about all the small towns on the highways of the towns that are more like once was. Yes there are houses; but what remains in the life is a mere speck of what once was. Much like most of today’s cities. Outside of being commerce centers, like in downtown isn’t much …. yet no matter the city, I also wonder what was life like there in the 1950s.

    Thanks Joe … well done.

  2. Frank, thanks for your always well-considered remarks. I saw your photo of the snow laden ball park. In a few months, the language and thoughts generated in those seats will melt more than snow, which of course will require application of some sort of coolant for the enthusiastic fan.

    The extension on the barn is typical. It was an add-on. At some time, the owners probably added that area for storage or some sort or enclosure for four-legged livestock.

    IN the fifties, the old barn was probably still in use, Chester probably had a well attended school and there was probably more than one store. But not for much longer.

    One of my high school classmates, who lived in Fort Smith, regularly traveled through Chester of a train between his home town and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
    Thanks again,
    Joe

  3. I always enjoy reading your posts … and good to think about.

    By the way, did you see my message to you on this post? http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/on-birthdays/

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