Monday, June 23, 2014

Country Magic

Thanks to Global Warming Climate Change (GWCC) it was cold and wet this morning, so I drove to West in search of "Valu Paks" of .22LR and a haircut. The barber was closed, along with most of the town, but the rumored .22 was there. Good result.

Downtown West

I took some time to wander around because I like West and its interesting Czech history. I understand some people still speak the language but regardless, the town's seen better days.

West Has Seen Better Days

Maybe the place will find a new source of income and prosperity, then again, maybe it'll simply continue its slow slide into decay and ruin. Like Detroit, but in rural Texas. Struck by that, I headed back along I35 and stopped at my town's Outlet Mall. 

Dead and Dying Outlet Mall

This was opened in the 1980s, promising wealth and jobs. Today it's mostly empty; here's a review, off of Yelp:

What I have to say about this place is probably the same that I can say about Afghanistan: bombed out and depleted. Like another reviewer mentioned, the only thing that makes this location complete is tumbleweeds blowing across the parking lot.

I took some pictures because I like to record the fall of what passes for our civilization, and was stopped by "Security." 

Mall Security Guarding the Empty Shops

Our conversation went like this:

"You can't take pictures here! No."
"Why not?"

"Well... I'm not rightly sure, sir, but no pictures allowed."
"Look, they're not even real pictures, they're digital."
"Maybe they'll hurt the buildings, sir. I been working here ten years."
"That's a very long time! And it's been a real pleasure to meet you. God bless."
"You too, sir!"

I liked the old man and off he went in his blue golf cart into the empty car park of the empty mall. I didn't ask why or how the pictures would hurt the buildings. 

That was obviously magic, country magic.

God bless,



LL said...

What happened to cause the rust belt?

LSP said...

That's a very good question. I'd say a large part of the problem is the departure of the cotton industry. Local government, true to form, raised taxes to cover the deficiency and the rest is history -- less and less business, fewer and fewer residents.

And we can cheerfully throw a respectable dose of small town corruption and cronyism into the mix for good measure...

jenny said...

Texas really must secede.

Love the pictures of the rainy skies.

LL said...

Cotton went to India... Ok, that makes sense.

LSP said...

The rain is most definitely a blessing!


LSP said...

For sure, LL. The end of passenger and decline of freight rail made a difference too.

But all that and more aside -- towns like mine need to attract new business and industry. Making it less expensive to operate here might be a start.

jenny said...

it's bad news when someone familiar with Detroit starts seeing it replicated in Texas.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I would say that you were stealing the mall's soul, but evidently someone else beat you to it.

LSP said...

My thoughts entirely!