American Gothic #14041
On the way to the Outer banks in North Carolina sits this old roadside store and gas station, a relic of common travel many years ago before big four lanes, higher speed limits, and glitzy convenience stores that cover more than an acre. How long ago is bookmarked by the rather rusty price on the pumps: sixty and sixty-one cents a gallon. These Esso pumps are so old they don’t even have a dollar column on the price dial, yet they wear their see-through weathered white paint well.
They are still standing foursquare and firm on their homegrown concrete foundation-with-step combination, yet the building has a rightward creeping lean to it from being built on piers in sandy soil. An obvious permanent sway has set in and stiffened up in the framing timbers, with the siding following right along. Pinched windows reflect blankly. The screen door hangs crookedly in a leaning frame after long suffering under the strain, and a fat shim attached to the top closes a yawning gap while a shaved away threshold helps the bottom to make it’s meet. The closed sign with a lilt signals finale.
Today this country store sits as a museum piece of sorts watching all the modern tourists go by in their summer air conditioning, and no one really wants a bottle of ice-cold RC all that much anymore. The pumps standing at attention this way reminded me a little of that famous painting of the rural farming couple with a pitchfork, hence the title of the same name.