Country Stores

If I traveled a lot, I would have a blog dedicated to small general stores in rural America. I really enjoy going into those stores. They are the heartbeat of very small towns.

The other day, I took my new truck out for a drive just to get know each other. I drove through a very little community called Stonyford. It sits at the base of the Mendocino Mountains and Stonyford is a mixture of large ranches, modest homes, not so modest homes, trailers of all sizes providing shelter and a beautiful little Catholic Church. I am guessing the population is not much more than a hundred people or so.

I pulled into the gravel parking lot to the Stonyford General Store and I was greeted by this puppy.

The dog’s owner came out and in a friendly manner said, “He’ll bite you if you voted for Biden.” It wasn’t the first time he used that line. He was probably in his early fifties but it looked like he had done some hard living.

Now I usually avoid political chatter especially in a town where there is probably 10 guns per person, but I didn’t this time. I said, “Well, I hope he had his rabies shots ‘cause I voted for Biden.”

My new friend look shocked. I was driving a pick up, had a scraggly white beard, and was dressed just like him. ‘“You did???’”

“Yes sir. When Trump referred to our fallen soldiers the way he did, I could never support a Commander-in-chief who disrespected those who gave up their lives for my freedom. I have an uncle buried in France under one of those white crosses.” I had many other reasons for my vote, but I kept it simple.

My friend chuckled and said, “Yeah, he would say some pretty dumb things sometimes.” What he was expecting from me, he didn’t get. We started small talking and soon he was telling me portions of his life story. During his last divorce proceedings, the judge threw him in jail for several months. He played in a small band. He said he had a modest radio hit back in the day. I liked him, enjoyed our conversation. He and his puppy drove off on the quad. I am certain the quad was not street legal, but I am also certain the local law enforcement would never ticket him for that. As he left, he said “Thank you for your service.” He was gone before I could reply that I was never in the military. That bothered me but once again he misjudged me. This time for my words, not my appearance.

I walked into the store. Yep, someone needs to blog about these stores!

The owner told me where every animal had been killed. The elk was taken just up the road. I had a sandwich made in her deli …

… and then I went outside and ate my lunch on the intersection of Nowhere and America. It was quiet. I was quite glad to be sitting there.