Monday, October 26, 2009

Bell Mina, Alabama

Finally, finally, finally...I can respond to other's posts, seemingly, and can post photos in my blog. Thank you blogger folks for your help. Now....where was I? Ah yes. Meandering to the lake house on a glorious breezy sunny bodacious clouds scudding by kind of autumnal day. On a whim I drove through several small villages that have been in my heart since childhood. First stop - Bell Mina, Alabama, where people normally drive through without stopping and trains rumble by blowing their horns on their way elsewhere. There's not much there except quaint homes, dishevelled store fronts facing the railroad lines, boarded up buildings and the scent of antiquity. It is beautiful to me, in its uniqueness and authenticity.

Bell Mina Methodist Church

This is the Bell Mina Methodist Church. There's no date on the sign but it's really old. Probably late 1800's, early 1900's. Every Christmas the church members decorate the doors with greenery, fruits and berries. I mean to get photos but never have.

Bell Mina store front

I was a small child when my mom and her best friend dragged me here. At that time it was a store of some sort, bustling with business. The roads were dirt roads. Our car was one of only few; the rest being mule wagons and farmers. There was dust hanging in the air. The mules fascinated me, and I remember romanticizing those visions with something akin to Little House on the Prarie and Laura Ingalls. Most wagons were carrying crops in the back, occasionally added to by whatever the Missus picked up at the store. It was a different, foreign place to me. This vision, this visit has stayed with me all this time. I return to Bell Mina from time to time just to feel that feeling and remember. My mom bought a chandelier at this very store that hung above our dining table. I don't know what happened to it but it's been long gone.

Hahn Firetruck

While I was skipping down memory lane my eye caught this amazing, old firetruck off to the right. Well, I had to see it! Don't you love it's face?

Parked here so long ago that weeds are growing around its tires, this firetruck has great personality. It fits this place! While I was photographing it a fireman, who was nearly as old as the truck itself, walked (slowly) over from the fire station to ask if I was interested in buying it. Well, no, but it sure is pretty, isn't it? He didn't think so, but he wasn't romanticizing this place in his mind like I was. He lives there and that sorta says it all.

The old firetruck and old building, recently painted in glorious red, compliment each other perfectly. It was a fine day for meandering and reliving past memories. By the way, the building is for sale and the firemen would love to sell the antique firetruck. Any takers out there?


Gaelyn said...

Bell Mina looks to be a place full of memories. The firetruck should be in a Disney movie with a face like that. Love the old store front, but it's a little too close to the tracks for me. Thanks for taking us along down this memory lane.

Anonymous said...

The way you describe and present this town reminds me of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. It too was a happening bustling town only to eventually be a distant memory filled with ghosts and cobwebs.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Oh, I think the firetruck and building belong together! It would be so nice if small towns like this could set up interpretive parks and keep these lovely old things.

What a nice outing!

Eve said...

What a great trip down memory lane Debi. What a perfect day. I'm not in the market for a fire truck...but I'll ask my neighbor!
See you tomorrow!! :-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi. I wandered into here from ...oh, heavens, I've lost track! but anyway - I've had a lovely time reading your posts. I love that old fire engine - it'd go really nicely with my tatty old Land Rover!
Thanks for a great blog :)

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Very nostalgic photos. I like the store front and fire truck as well. Alabama is full of those old towns- unfortunately- most of the older buildings aren't as in good of shape as the one that you photographed. I'm glad that you are back in the land of the bloggers! :)

wcgillian said...

Hi Deb,

It is funny you posted the photos of the old fire truck. I love them. The truck looks to be about mid sixty vintage. A guy could make some good money with that rig if you were interested in fighting wild fires. I just got back from Libby MT where I took a bunch of photos of a 1932 fire truck for a project I have been planning for a few years. I will post it since you have a fire truck on your site.By the way the coffee thing you commented on came at a good time for me too!

Bird Girl said...

Bell Mina looks like a ghost town in a way - but oh - you did a magnificent job with this photography! I just LOVE that little store front and the church is so pretty. Do get back and take pictures of the doors at Christmas! My favorite is the firetruck and the storefront in the background - so neat!


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