Sunday, March 22, 2009

Item From the Past: My Own Mississippi

I have to like a place with a street sign like this:

The sign was at the corner of Stribling Street and the more blandly named Forest Park Circle in Philadelphia, Miss., when I photographed it in February 1990. According to Google Maps, the street's still there -- it's a short stretch between Pecan Ave. and Columbus Ave.

Philadelphia was my father's hometown, though like many Southerners in the last century and a half, he Gone To Texas as a young man. It was also the home of members of the Dees family, at least one of whom married a Stribling, eventually becoming my paternal grandparents.

Fairly distant cousins whom I do not know clearly established a drug store and a small department store in Philadelphia. This is how they appeared in 1990:

Again, Google Maps tells me they are still around, though it's hard to believe that Wal-Mart hasn't eaten their lunch (and there is a Wal-Mart in the 39350 Zip code, which puts it close by). Back in 1990, I didn't wander into the drug store or the department store to see if I shared a name with anyone inside, though I probably should have. If they're still around the next time I visit, I will do just that.

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