Trailside General Store

This is a metaphor for so many towns across the U.S. This one is personal. This convenience store has been boarded up for a long time. The last time McQueen, Haden Church and I drove through town nine years ago, it was boarded up. This store was one of the places I’d walk to at just about any hour for a soda, junk food or trashy video rental. Loved this little place. This was where I scored so many points on Defender that I rolled it over. This is where I’d go for my mom’s late night Diet Coke. I took my nieces and nephews here to buy candy. A lot of memories.

Remember those pull tab contests that Pepsi did in the 1980s? I swear I got an “A” to spell C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-E and win $10,000 or whatever the prize was. Except that I was also convinced that I threw out the winning tab early on in the contest. That’s what I told myself the entire summer as I purchased can after can of Pepsi, hoping to find the winning “A”. I drank a lot of cans and ended up with nothing but a burning desire for more Pepsi. Wait.

Maybe the two 7-11s in town what ultimately did this store in. I don’t know the details, I just know that it’s one more in a list of physical examples fading the memories of my youth.

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Daily affirmation: Seriously. Stop with the “if only….” Make today “if only…” free.

  • americanrecluse

    I love this. The building itself is gorgeous – I want to buy it and open up a rib shack. Boarded up buildings in general make me kind of sad. I always imagine the last person to leave (of course in my imagination the person who hung those boards also loved the place when it was bustling with life).

    If you haven’t already, listen to the episode of This American Life called “The House on Loon Lake.”

  • Carrie Marshall

    I used to buy the candy cigarettes and caramel jolly rancher sticks at this store. It was halfway between my house and my friends…we’d call and meet halfway every damn day.

  • Amy Shouse

    I know the weepy horror. I drove through my childhood neighborhood last week and the old Topanga theater where I made out and watched movies and stole life size cutouts of Sylvester Stallone was a Crate and Barrell. Barf.

  • Joy Cha

    i like today’s affirmation. needed that!