|The steps led to the part of the store with hardware, seed, and feed|
These interior scenes were 1-second tripod-mounted exposures on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. I bought some cold juice, thanked the folks at the counter, and headed home.
I forgot about these negatives and did not scan them until July of 2020. Then I looked for information about Powers Country Store and was horrified to learn that it burned down on June 26, 2018, only a year after I visited. From WAFB 9 (Baton Rouge):
GRANGEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - An old neighborhood grocery store that has been a staple in St. Helena Parish for more than a century is gone. Powers Country Store in Grangeville was destroyed by fire Monday night.
Flames shot nearly 20 feet into the air as firefighters battled the massive blaze at Powers at around 10:30 p.m. Cell phone video taken by someone who witnessed the destruction spread quickly on social media, perhaps because the old store holds a piece of rich history. It has been open since 1896. An old, rusted sign bearing the store's name and the couple, Frank and Ramona, that started a restaurant some 60 years ago is all that remains.From The Advocate (Times-Picyune, New Orleans):
Until the fire, the Powers Store remained a vibrant place for people living and working in the area, including the local gravel pit workers, Graves said.I am sad; this is how we lose out cultural heritage. As time goes by, people forget. Within a few years, almost no one will remember that Powers Country Store once existed and served the community.
“Usually at lunch time the parking lot is packed,” Graves said. “Now I don’t know what they’re going to do, I guess go to the truck stop a little farther south. It is going to really sting not having it there.”
Suzanne Hornsby Hobgood was among several people who stopped by Tuesday to extend condolences. She said she remembered buying candy from Frank and Ramona Powers when she was a kid. As an adult, she brought her family to do the same.
“I’d come out here and bring my children. And now I’ve been bringing my grandchildren,” she said.
Hobgood said the store was filled with history, including an antique cash register, deer mounts from hunting trips and old photographs.
Older Urban Decay articles about country stores (please click the links):
Lorman, Mississippi in 2019
Roy's Store, Chatham, Mississippi
Betigheimer Store, Edwards, Mississippi
Willis Store, Edwards, Mississippi
Yates Store, Utica, Mississippi
Twin Arrows, Arizona (Route 66)