Saturday, August 25, 2007

Red guard


Flash of color in an unexpected place
London, Ontario, June 2007 [Click to embiggen]


I've always had difficulty keeping myself occupied while filling my car with gas. I've never figured out the secret to keeping the trigger thing locked, so I stand there like a doofus, squeezing the handle and trying to avoid overflowing the tank and starting an environmentally nightmarish chain reaction.

While I wait for the tank to fill, I inevitably stare at stuff. Which, in the case of a typical gas station isn't really that visually compelling. Today's filling stations are cookie cutter designs. An Esso in Kentucky looks pretty much like an Esso in Toronto. The key difference is I wasn't at an Esso that sunny June morning. I was at one of the rapidly disappearing independent vendors, the kind of corner gas-kinda place that was built fifty years ago and still wears its dustiness with pride.

As I paid the cashier - no high-tech credit card-swiping pumps here - I looked around and silently added this place to my must-explore-with-a-lens list. To satisfy myself as I got back into the car, I pulled out my ever-present camera and captured the guard rail. It'll have to tide me over.

Your turn: Places that remind us of yesterday. Please discuss.

12 comments:

Dara said...

General stores in the middle of nowhere that sell a little bit of everything. They are usually in olden wooden buildings and smell of sawdust/feed/oil and more often than not make the best sandwiches. I saw two this summer - one in Green, NY and the other in Poolesville, MD. Here again from Michele's! Oh - regarding the gas - I just received a list of which companies buy their gas overseas and which ones buy from US companies. It is going to be an interesting challenge trying to patronize the latter and not the former.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, Carmi! Michele sent me tonight, but I've been lurking again anyway.

You know I love mom-and-pop places, right? They're my favorite sort of store; I visit as many of them here as I can.

As for gas stations, you betcha. They ARE all alike anymore. We actually have one nearby that's part of a Sheetz Convenience store that we call the Taj-Ma-Sheetz.

I guess we find local color where we can anymore, huh?

Thumper said...

That is so cool...it has the pull of those odd black and white films where a single element is in color, like a fish in a tank, or a flower...

Taking a break from moving, and Michele sent me here to avoid more work :)

BreadBox said...

Yet another example of how photography is all in the eye --- I would never have dreamed of taking this shot!
But it is gorgeous. The textures...
N.
Michele sent me, of course.

Shane said...

as stoic and unresponsive as the more familiar red guard.

enjoyed from michele's or from anywhere else

kenju said...

Places that remind me of yesteryear are old country stores, antique shops - but not the fancy ones - the junque shops in small towns with the cast offs of the previous decades. Michele sent me tonight, Carmi!

Chad Oneil said...

Places that remind me of yesterday? My apartment I'm sitting in right now. It holds some good memories for me of times that are now in the past. Contrasting times.

As for the trigger thing staying locked...sometimes they work and sometimes that convenient thing gets broken somehow, which annoys me everytime.

scrappintwinmom said...

I recently passed a neighborhood pharmacy while running errands. Here in my neck of the woods, you have a Duane Reade-Walgreens-CVS on every corner. You never see the local drugstore anymore. Here via Michele as always. Will also stop by your other blog, because "more carmi" is always a good thing. :)

gautami tripathy said...

I like quaint memorials built on farming lands. Most are very old and forgotten. One simply wonders who they were and how they lived.

I like to visit old forgotten tiny shops in Old Delhi. They take me back on time.

I don't know why but that vivid red reminded me of blood. Though blood is much darker.

Michele keeps sending me back to your blog so that I can ramble to my hearts content...:)

indigo said...

For me, it's more of a district. Katong, this little area in the south-east of Singapore is filled with memories for me. I grew up there before moving off to another part of the island. I still go there often for meals (it's has some of the best food!), for church and some shopping.

The old shophouses, from a long gone era of colonial rule, are still there although now filled with more modern amenities. No Starbucks here yet, thank goodness. I recall yearly visits to a tailor with my Mom and granny for Christmas dresses when my sister and I were little. Our old house has been redeveloped into bright, modern terrace houses. Visiting Katong always brings back nostalgic memories.

Here from Michele! *waves*

flleenie said...

The corner store, 'Petes' (Petrillos). They had everything, a deli & meat counter, milk, grocery items, penny candy & the first bag of Doritos I ever saw... (yesteryear)

I don't live around there anymore, but that store is still there, it is still called 'Pete's', & the deli still ROCKS!

Michele sent me...

CG said...

Old Post Offices that double as general stores and have their windows lined with yellow celophane to stop the display fading. There are always curling postcards, and a plethora of dead flies lining the window sills...