Sunday, March 27, 2011

Margaret's Grocery, Vicksburg, revisited 2010 and 2011

On February 19, 2011, Governor Haley Barbour proclaimed the week of March 20 to 26 the "Rev. Herman D. Dennis and Margaret's Grocery Awareness and Preservation Week." To remind viewers who are not familiar with the story, the Rev. Dennis married Margaret in 1984 and spent two decades decorating the old grocery store as a "Bible Temple to God." Margaret passed away in 2009 and the Rev. now lives in a nursing home in Vicksburg.

In some earlier posts, I showed how brilliant the colors where in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the Rev. moved away, the Temple has deteriorated from weather and possibly vandalism. The paint has faded, ornaments have fallen down, and termites are eating the building. In this post are photographs from late 2010 and early 2011. The three scenes above show the front porch area.

The Reverend's creativity was amazing. He used any material he could get his hands on and painted, glued, and reassembled these items as part of his art.

Posted in the porch were old newspaper clipping describing Margaret's Gro. Some reported on the many international tourists who sought out the site, including Germans, who were particularly interested. According to Reverend Dennis, he learned his skill of brick laying from German prisoners at the POW camp, where he was a camp guard. He told me many years ago that he admired their skill.

Here is the bus that the Rev. used for his ministrations.

On March 20, Congressman Bennie Thompson met with a group of Reverend Dennis' supporters and local citizens at the King's Empowerment Center. They discussed options for preserving the store and the art. The Rev. came and was delighted to be there. Afterward, a few of the group went to the old store and had a chance to look inside. The Rev. preached in his bus, in as good form as ever.

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