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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A PLACE CALLED WACO






Early 1900s postcard of Waco, Kentucky,



While heading down route 52 in Madison County, Kentucky toward an old pottery I  spotted a town from the past. When I say town I guess I mean -- place -- sort of a four corners. 


Before I could think straight I was pulling into a parking spot behind one of the old buildings in town. I jumped out of my truck and started snapping photos of an old general store type of building. It looked original to when it was built.






The present proprietor, Garnette Davis, soon came out of the store and I had to explain to him what I was doing. He was very hospitable after I told him I liked to record folkways. He  invited me inside to give me a lowdown on all the old buildings that sat at or near the four corners -- all of them original to the postcard he gave me of the town taken in the early 1900s. Even his general store (third building from the left in the postcard) was in the photo sitting on its corner with the same form it has today. 






The back of this former general store, now called Davis Hidden Treasures, had an old addition with a nice set of original double doors. 






Preserved in situ, Waco's commercial buildings offered me about six old original commercial buildings to photograph. It was quite a find!


With the postcard in hand and comparing it to what I could view with my eyes I figured that there were about nine or ten commercial buildings when the postcard was produced --  compared to about six extant ones now.  


No development of note has come to Waco's four corners. It remains in a time warp of the early 1900s. 


This was a day I stepped back in time.

26 comments:

  1. Places like this are still out there. It's sooo much fun. In a way it's like finding that old car or motorcycle in the barn that's been there for 50 years or so.

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    1. One Fly -- You are right -- it is fun. I hope I can find more places like this as I travel around. Perhaps you have some where you live? Now if they have even just one corporate business such as a McDonalds or a Subway that disqualifies the place from being in a time warp. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  2. What an awesome find. Wonderful that the proprietor was so hospitable. That makes for an interesting photo memory. Also, really liked the old church on your other blog...very cool!

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    1. turquoisemoon -- thanks for the comment on the old church. That was a tricky photo to get. I run into the most interesting and nice folks in Ky. The native Kentuckians are so willing to tell you all you need to know and then some. -- thanks -- barbara

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  3. Well there is this -

    http://oneflyspictureplace.blogspot.com/search?q=lascar

    Just one picture of it right behind where I live. Not much left but there was a Post Office at one tome. A friend used to catch crappie four miles to the west. Water has been gone for many years just like the people who went to get their mail.

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    1. Thanks for the link -- took a look at the place. Not much left to it anymore from your pics. The terrain and mountains sure tell me it is the west. It looks like a lovely place to live if it is solitude you are after -- which many are after. thanks again -- barbara

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  4. How excellent that Mr. Davis came out to chat with you about the area. I always enjoy hearing about history from a local, with knowledge!

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    1. Michelle -- Mr Davis has lived all his life in the area and as a young boy used to buy candy in the building he now owns. It was nice to chat with him and hopefully we will meet again next time I am through that area. -- thanks -- barbara

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  5. Love these tiny towns scattered throughout Kentucky. Enjoy stopping at a spot for a cup of coffee and the sound of friendly chatter as old friends greet. The old buildings have so much character.

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    1. Grampy -- It is nice to stop in these towns -- and if they have a place to have coffee I usually stop too. There was a small independent cafe in the tiny town of Paint Lick and it burnt down. Since then the town has become almost a ghost town. A local told me that folks used to come to town to eat and exchange info on family and farming. thanks -- barbara

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  6. What good luck to meet Mr. Davis and that he had the old post card. It's wonderful how many "unbeaten" paths (as in "off the beaten path" there are in many parts of our country.

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    1. June -- I do like to visit these four corners places. I have been doing it for years. The best part is that they are unspoiled -- at least for the time being. thanks -- barbara

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  7. Fun indeed. It is amazing how when you point a camera in an unusual situation or way how people come forward and want to talk. I often use this when I attend reenactments or rondevous. And the stories that come out.

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    1. troutbirder -- Yes, a camera is a good icebreaker most times. People are curious about why you are taking photographs. Usually, I find, that folks really do open up to you once you tell them what you are doing and ask them a few questions. For me, I think my age of 72 and the fact I am travelling alone makes them feel less intimidated. Of course travelling alone I take certain precautions and many times I bring my huge dog riding shotgun. thanks -- barbara

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  8. What a wonderful experience for you, Recorder of Folkways! History brought to life & it is why oral history is my favorite! You must have enjoyed this unexpected pleasure so much! You have me curious if you are temporarily in Kentucky, on an assignment, either an assignment from within or for an external project...

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    1. Sketchbook Wandering -- I record folkways through photography and writing. When I turned 50 I gave up a good government job and decided to follow my bliss. I got a Masters in Historic Preservation and Cultural Anthropology. I worked for for several years contractually and then decided to just lay back and enjoy life full time doing what I wanted to do and that being recording folkways among a few other favorites. Now I am only on assignment for myself. I have had a few things published since I left the government and feel lucky that I now can live this investigative life under my own discretion. I live in KY full time.

      Now that I have revealed all this what about you. How have you spent your years as an artist?

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    2. Thank you for sharing a bit of your intersting story. ...Briefly, my years "as an artist" were as an art educator & children's library assistant. I think i chose cultural anthropology & folklore/oral history as my undergraduate major because of my "bi-cultural" roots & my longing for a simpler, less industrial way of life than in cities...People seem more important to one another in rural environments...But currently I live in the largest city in Maine & am torn about going back to smaller town life...I'm so happy to know that you are "following your bliss"...I guess I am too, maybe more than ever...
      Re. the Folklife Festival: I think I was only there twice & at the time, I was more interested in the states verses the countries. The year Poland was featured, my mother participated with donations of cooked items...Tradition, something I love. Something is being lost, but something is being gained as new traditions develop in our "global village"...Warmly, Rita

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  9. What a nice story and beautiful pictures.
    I love the old buildings with their own special story!

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    1. Dieneke -- stopped by your blog -- it's very nice. Thanks for stopping by and making comment on my post. Hopefully we will meet online again -- barbara

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  10. Oh soooo jealous, sounds like perfect day! You shared it perfectly.

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    1. Raining Iguanas -- It was perfect -- but there are days that are no so perfect. I've been contemplating some of Jon Katz's posts -- they seem honest -- in particular that not all days are perfect. My motto -- enjoy whatever you can out of a day and go forward. John, have one of those good days today -- barbara

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  11. Amazing indeed. To think they have survived all this time in a country where the old things usually get disappeared.

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    1. Hattie -- Each old structure is our history. They represent a culture that only exists only in remnants. Disappearing fast. thanks -- barbara

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  12. Don't you just love old places like this? You sometimes wonder how they withstood the ravages of time and weather all those years. I wish more were still intact for all of us to enjoy.

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    1. Janet -- Just to know that they still exists give me a good feeling. thanks -- barbara

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  13. Enjoyed being taken along on your path to the past. Always a treat to have this sort of adventure. Couple of years ago we experienced similar geniality of people living very different lives, at a different pace. Eastern Oregon.

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