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Day 6 Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee: slooow movin’

October 17, 2012

Left Alabama this morning early and headed north towards Hartselle – the town that should be featured in the twilight zone!  This place is listed on the antique trail.  First stop was a off the highway, Tin Top- funky looking, patchwork in style – up my alley!  Well, inside it really was a true cornecopia of “stuff”, however, it was the owner – a very dour looking woman that was the most memorable.  Come to find out that Hartselle is a dry town.  that explained it all, she just needed a good shot of some good old fashioned sour mash.  That should lighten her up!  After that we drove to the downtown – a piece of history, the town looked right out of an old western.  So, we park and start walking, it seems almost closed down, like a ghost town.  Every couple of stores were closed.  When we came upon one that was open we chatted it up with the proprietor.  She explained, “you are going to find many of the stores closed on Wed. ” pause.  we looked quizzically.  she continues ” you know, wed.  its typical, from the past”, we continue to look quizzical.  she says ” you know for church and stuff”.  Oh, we reply that explains it!  A dry, christian bible belt town.  Wow!  What a find.  Im looking for a house to rent.  JK.  The folks that were open, were gracious and kind, true southern hospitality! 

Let me tell you about Don, we met him in one of the stores.  Don is a long time resident of Hartselle. I forgot to tell you that there is a ballot measure up on November 6 – a vote to repeal or retain Hartselle’s dry status.  This is a BIG issue in Hartselle, let me tell you.  Anyway, I asked Don what he thought of all of this.  First I need you to picture Don – tall, thin as a weed, dressed neatly in pressed overalls, clean and tidy, wearing a baseball cap, long grey/white beard, kind eyes, a smile that crinkled on the corners (that I only saw when he found out that we were from California – “Oh, I knew you weren’t from around here. out west”).  Don spoke in a drawl so thick, I could have poured it over flapjacks, just like syrup, it was slow and easy.  He explained that Hartselle has always been a dry town, and well, it had served them well that way for many years.  no need to change what worked.  but, each time it comes up for vote it gets closer and closer.  not sure that Don was welcoming the thought of change.

Well, several stores and purchases. later we begin our track to Memphis, Tenessee.  However, on our way we discover that the oldest drug store in Mississippi is on our way!  heck with the world’s largest ball of string, we are going to Corinithe, Mississippi.  Talk about the quaintest town, ever.  Right out of Andy Griffith!  We meander into Borrum’s drug store and soda fountain – established in 1865! it was a REAL soda fountain,  We sat at the fountain and ordered burgers and chocolate malts – outof this world killer good!  The young girl behind the counter was, well, from Mississippi -her drawl was slow and easy.  In fact, I startled her when speaking – I spoke faster than her ears could hear!.  While enjoying our lunch, we were privy to her taking some “lessons” in managing the counter from the apparent manager.  She was learning to fill the syrups.  Robyn says, oh, are you new here?  The girl replies, (ever so slowly), “well, yes, but I started 3 weeks ago.  I just havent learned the syrups yet.”.  Syrup filling and dispensing is very serious work in Corinthe Mississippi.  Askthe fountain girl at Borrum’s

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