Folks enjoyed my Murphysboro photos so much that I made another trip to the famous old Southern Illinois Town…one more time. I was once again struck by the amount of traffic and commerce in Murphysboro…as compared with the other Little Egypt towns that I have visited over the past few months. Murphysboro has several Antique stores and they seem to be doing a good business. I have felt comfortable walking the streets of the town each time that I have been there. On both visits, I have stepped into a little food/gas station to avail myself of the facilities and to purchase some amazingly reasonable cigars. Cigars and photography are a lovely match. Each time the friendliness of the people and the employees has been refreshing.
I call the above photo, ‘Mannequin Watching.’ As I strolled the vintage streets of Murphysboro…I reflected on what appeared old to my 64-year-old eyes…was new to the residents of this lovely town…in our last century. During our relatively short lives, we have lost much of a feeling of continuity or how the past transported us to our present.
Architecture is a point of pride for we Americans…but when you look at the examples of the building of 100 years or more ago…we fall short of bragging rights.
For much of my life, I have been a resident of Southern Illinois. Often I did not feel the significance of the culture or the heritage of my surroundings. Little Egypt is full of farmers and former coal miners…and professors and Academics of all stripes. It has the ‘High Worship Service’ of the old denominations and the Charismatic Worship of the young and of those who have been forgotten by Denominations. It has the faith that God will heal you if you are sick…and the quiet faith that God will guide the doctor’s hands… In short, I live in a true melting pot of recognized cultures and those that have been a bit missed by the media and some elites. My friends and neighbors and the people of Murphysboro are humble and happy…they often have little of this world’s earthly goods…but they have a deep and abiding faith…that is compelling.
I so agree with and appreciate how you expressed this “loss of continuity.” I see and feel it on the daily, so that I am … relieved, somehow, to see this loss addressed outside my own heart.
Thank you, my friend.