Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hinds County News, Mississippi on the Plains column, for October 2016 by Gloria Christiansen

Hinds County News October 2016

So here I am, and another month has passed, Summer is gone and it is Fall.   Here in Nebraska there has already been a frost in the panhandle.
North Park
Holdrege Nebraska

North Park
Holdrege Nebraska

Let me tell you a bit about my road trip to Louisiana for grandson Garrett’s wedding.

My Buddies
Peggy Ann, Jacqueline, Me and Lindsey
Xenia, Garrett
And Adam

   I do not travel the interstates at all, so I am mostly traveling on two lane roads.   Been making the same trip up and down highway 183 for many years, in fact 50ish years.  There are not many towns of any size on my route, mostly small farming communities…over the years those little towns have changed from bustling main streets, with local cafes, grocery stores, feed stores, furniture stores, a Ben Franklin 5&10, Western Auto store, several full service filling stations, and every town had a school.  Oh! And an adorable little motel with a bright neon sign flashing “vacancy” or “No Vacancy”.
It is not that way anymore, sometimes it is a challenge to even find gas, when you do it is often an unmanned place, next to what used to be a Co-Op.  If you happen up on a little convenience store that has a gas pump, it is not uncommon that you have to pay inside, because the pump is of an age that it cannot accommodate a credit card.
Many Main streets in rural mid-west are empty shells, once lovely homes abandoned, schools and play grounds vacant.  
 Even the smallest of villages may not have the amenities they once did, but most still have a nice water tower, frequently painted whimsically, but always proudly embellished with the town’s name, and very often the towns have a well-cared for city park.   In very recent years Dollar General stores have begun to pop up.                                          
  But what I find most fascinating about the small towns in the rural mid-west is this, there may not be a school, grocery or hardware store but, there is almost always a functioning bank.  For some reason I find comfort in that…. maybe the rural Mid-west is not dying, maybe it is just beginning a new cycle. We old people do not have to like it…we had our “good old days” these changing times are the “good old days” for this generation.
Before I head out on “The Junk Jaunt”, Let me relay an invitation to you all, from the sweet folks at Old Lebanon Church.
There are many abandon country churches in the rural areas of our country….But not Old Lebanon Presbyterian Church off Highway 18, Raymond Mississippi, years ago the congregation moved the few miles into Learned, Mississippi.   But Old Lebanon was not left to out there in the country unloved and forgotten, every fifth Sunday the congregation meets in that old church, even though it lacks modern comforts, no kitchen, or reliable heat and no air conditioning, I don’t think it even has electricity.  The windows do function and as I recall there is an outside privy.
October, 30, 2016 is Homecoming and dinner on the grounds, at old Lebanon. After the service, under the trees in front of the church, is where the cover dish dinner will commence. So take a covered dish, and a lawn chair, and enjoy the afternoon visiting with neighbors, friends and strangers,  and be sure and stroll through the old cemetery.  Everyone is invited. 
 I have been to 5th Sunday at old Lebanon many times, when it was raining, sweltering hot and when it was cool bordering on cold.  Grand! Grand! Memories! I wish I could be there for this homecoming.

  By the way Old Lebanon Presbyterian church is on the National list of historic places.