Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Towns in Mississippi: Hermanville

Hermanville is a small agricultural town about six miles east of Port Gibson on MS Highway 18. The town was probably more prosperous in the past, but not much is happening here now. People hang around, stores are closed, and the shopette sells cigs and beer coolers. The surrounding area has cotton and soybean fields and timber. What can be done to revive towns like this? We can send a trillion Dollars to bail out the politically-connected investment banks in New York but yet allow small towns to rot away?

A friend and I stopped to take photographs. The locals were a bit curious and friendly. They may not get many tourists here.

Drive west on Highway 80 towards Port Gibson and you come to "The Store," a classic Mississippi juke joint. We stopped to photograph. The proprietor came by in a pickup truck full of little kids. She was very nice and said she was trying to make a living and did not allow any violence or drugs in her place. She invited us to come by some Friday night.

I took the color photographs with a Sony DSC-W7 digital camera. And I exposed the black and white frames on Kodak Panatomic-X fine-grain film using a Fuji GW690II 6x9 camera. I developed it in Rodinol 1:50. The classic thin-emulsion Panatomic-X is my all-time favorite film. Used carefully, it shows astonishing detail. I still have plenty in the freezer and plan to keep using it.


George "G Man" Slade said...

Wow, what a run down town. I wonder if things will get better or worse.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm from there

Anonymous said...

Not sure what to think, or how I feel about such seemingly run down places. I am concernd for the welbeing of the people of such places, but at the same time, I am aware that, moderenization of place does not equal the advancement of human health and happiness.
Of course such a place is due for some serious mending, the buildings, most of them anyway, should be made safe for the sake of decency, but beyond rendering such places safe, am I too foolish to suggest that we keep and even treasure places which beckon at least some of us, back to a more simple time, even if that time is largely myth ? Does every community have to become a town, every town a city, and every city the next megopolis, complete with all the trappings, that those persons who can, escape from whenever they can ? Do strip malls, mile upon mile of concrete jungle, with the occasional manicured remake of Waldens pond, tell the full story, or even the true story of who we are as a people ? I think not, and while I am convinced that human suffering should never be maintained for any reason, we would be prudent to not insist that every place in this nation be subject the model of begin, develop, develop without end, and then start all over again, after a vacation somewhere, where people actually have a high quality of life precisely because they both conserved the old and dilapidated reminders of life past,and said no to the endless development model.
Thanks, to the contributor of these photos.

Anonymous said...

I can not say I remember Hermanville for sure, but I generally love that region of Miss for its atmosphere and natural attributes. Of course no one could possibly forget Natchez, nor Port Gibson.
Hope you are doing well down there ?

Latonya Sullivan said...

I'm from Hermanville. The town isn't rundown, it's full of heritage and good country people. Its full of people who would give you a ride, fix your flat tire, lend you a cup of sugar, pay your utility bill if you can't afford it, babysit your child if you need it, the list goes on and on. So, don't pitty the people of Hermanville, they are rich hearted! I'm a proud, but humble product of this town. I currently reside in Memphis, but I often tell my children, I wouldn't trade my upbringing for nothing in the world.

Latonya Sullivan said...
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