Photo Exploration — Kiddie Ride, Hendersonville North Carolina

July 20, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Down­towns cen­tered on Main Streets are still around, and they often pro­vide a view into the past. And some­times there is a per­spec­tive into tran­si­tion between the past and present as well. In Hen­der­son­ville, North Car­oli­na, there is a vibrant down­town with music instru­ment stores, bars, knick-knacks shops, ice cream coun­ters and delis. Includ­ing this old phar­ma­cy with the dog treats, cig­a­rette recep­ta­cle, and kid­die horse lined up out­side the front door.

I see this pho­to­graph as a doc­u­ment of ten­sion. I tried to lim­it the sur­round­ing con­text to a min­i­mum, although I did sneak in the his­tor­i­cal plaque on the left wall. Between that dec­o­ra­tion and the tiled entry­way, what is orig­i­nal? We see a procla­ma­tion of this “new” own­er­ship, man­age­ment, whathavey­ou — “The old ‘Jus­tus Phar­ma­cy’ ” — so some­things have changed. Maybe the Coke bar­rel by the door, prob­a­bly the dog bis­cuit offer­ing — those are cer­tain­ly new. The neon sign could go both ways — maybe orig­i­nal? Our reflect­ed awning is like­ly orig­i­nal, if not restored. But the horse — what of the horse? Def­i­nite­ly weath­er-worn, and from an ear­li­er day when the motor cas­ings were still met­al instead of shock-proof plas­tic. I’ve no idea if it works or not — unfor­tu­nate­ly I’m always bereft of loose change.

Is the restau­rant mere­ly trad­ing on nos­tal­gia and rep­u­ta­tion? Do they have gen­uine respect for the his­to­ry of such a space, or are they lever­ag­ing the horse to hook tourists into spend­ing some quick cash? I should say that I don’t know at all — but I would imag­ine that the new own­ers are prob­a­bly on the “respect and restore” side of the coin than the “appro­pri­ate and abuse” the past viewpoint.

Kiddie Ride

This pho­to­graph was made on a rainy after­noon in June 2015, with 35mm Supe­ria X‑TRA 400 in my Leica M3.