Sunday, July 5, 2009

Natchez, Mississippi

This picture was taken in 1940, and shows a storefront in Natchez, Mississippi. I really like the unique nature of these old stores. Each one was different. Now it sometimes feels like every store in every city is about the same.


  1. Go to the side of the store and find the 2 water fountains for personal hydration.

    One for the white folks and one for the colored folks.

    When refrigerated units eventually became available, some stores installed them for the whites only.

    Thus, not everything in the picture reflects the entire history of the time.

  2. I take your point, Brother Dave.

    It was the colour I noticed
    first, the green door frame
    contrasting with the red signs.

    I like the film they used then
    to get that type of colour.

    Hope you had a good 4th of July.

  3. Might have been Kodachrome, Ray. It was/is a very stable and accurate film.

    I just heard on the radio recently that Kodak announced it is discontinuing it....

  4. Ah, RC Cola. It was a poor man's Coke, twice as big but watered down and when me and my brother could rub two nickes together, we headed for the store for an RC and a little round box of Spanish peanuts. We'd pour the peanuts in the RC, shake it up and take turns gulping it down. Man, that was living. I can almost smell this cool place.

  5. Yes, Brother Dave, thanks for speaking. I held my tongue the last few days, with all the love of the Confederacy being expressed in comments. In the Cornerstone Speech of 1861,the VP of the Confederate States states, "The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution."

  6. Anon:

    Slavery was not the only reason for the War Between the States. The main forces were states' rights, taxes, and limiting the power of the federal government.

    Supporting those principles today does not automatically condone slavery.

    Also you should be aware that slavery started in the North.

    And . . .Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in the south, those in the north remained enslaves.

    So focusing on slavery is an oversimplification. Just because there are some of us who don't want the government interfering in every aspect of our lives doesn't mean we are in favor of slavery.

  7. Ross_from_Maine

    I didn't know you could still get
    the film, Im so involved in digital
    Sorry to hear it's to be discontinued.

  8. Emancipating slaves in the South meant no more free labor on the plantations. There were no plantations in the North.

    So while slavery may not have been the major issue between the North and South during the civil war, emancipating slaves would be a major change.

    And just like today, the prospect of change always brings wild rumors and thoughtless claims.

    BTW, I had heard that Kodachrome film was developed in only one laboratory at considerable expense. I imagine that high-end digital photography has driven Kodachrome off the market.

  9. Brother Dave

    How do you get the length of line
    when you comment. My comment box
    only allows for short lines.
    Compare our last two comments.

  10. Hi SmartGirl, my retired military career brother thinks we may see another civil war soon... I'd hate to see that happen but as a tea-party participant I think things are very precarious right now.

  11. Where's PJM this morning?

  12. Interesting that only one of those sodas is defunct: Double Cola.

    I am a bit of a libertarian myself and I'd like to see a lot less of the government, but I also don't believe that declaring war on our neighbors is the way to accomplish this.

  13. Brother Dave:

    Your observation is correct, but it's an oversimplification.

    We all know that slavery is morally wrong, and it would have eventually been abolished one way or another, with or without the war. And the South would have adjusted.

    And . . . let's not forget that freeing the slaves did not improve either their living conditions or their opportunities. Emancipation did not eliminate racism - and that's not something you can legislate.

    It's taken a long time to reduce racsim in this country, and (unfortunately) it will never go away. There is "ethnic cleansing" going on all over the world all the time. What about the Holocaust? Was that any less important?

    Furthermore, although the North did not have "plantations," during the First Industrial Revolution (which immediately followed the Civil War), thousands of immigrants "slaved" in factories with long hours, inhuman conditions, and for very little pay (until organized labor was able to effect reform).

    So . . what's the difference?

    And I know, because ALL of my grandparents were immigrants and among those who were overworked, underpaid, and treated unfairly. Belive me, I have a million stories I can tell you.

    But. . . here's the difference - we haven't spent the rest of our lives talking about it, blaming others for our problems, and asking for special treatment.

    Everyone in my family WORKED - my 94-year-old father left school at 15 and is a millionaire today. And no-one in my family ever broke the law, sold drugs, stole cars, etc. etc. And all of us (the grandchildren) went to college and are doctors, lawyers, or teachers.

    This stuff is getting old, along with political correctness.

    At some point people have to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions. You can't keep crying because people say things that "hurt your feelings." Get over it and move on.

    And I am not a racist and I certainly don't approve of slavery and oppresion (anywhere on this earth), but I still stand with the South when it comes to telling the Feds to get out of my life and to stop stealing (and wasting) my money.

  14. Hi, Heather:

    Well, if there's another Civil War, I'm moving to Texas.

    At least they can carry guns there and you can defend yourself.

    Over here in RI, you can't even shoot someone when they're in your house. You have to be practically dead before you can defend yourself.

  15. Smart Girl,
    You go girl!!!
    My GGGGGrandmother came over from Ireland in the 1700's as an indentured servant. I'm not complaining, just happy to be a RED,WHITE & BLUE TEXAN.

  16. Reminds me of can go to the smallest town and find all sorts of coca cola signs (from really old ones to new ones.

  17. EMS - Thanks.

    This country was founded as a land of OPPORTUNITY and FREEDOM, not as a land of ENTITLEMENT.

    People have to get up take advantage of those opportunities on their own, just as our ancestors did. And many, many individuals still do. But, there are others today who keep hashing over old issues and who seem to think that they are "owed" something because of what happened 150 years ago.

    One's race (or ethnic background) is neither an excuse for bad behavior or justification for special privileges.

    Retroactive fault-finding and instituting revisionist history isn't going to accomplish anything.

    For example, here in Rhode Island, there is a movement underway to remove the phrase "and Providence Plantations" from our state's official name - "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."

    Apparently, there are some ethnic groups around here who find the word "Plantations" "hurtful."

    What a bunch of nonsense this is, not to mention a colossal waste of time and money, given our obviously bigger issues.

    This state was founded by Roger Williams long before slavery, and the name has nothing to do with it.

    "Plantation" is just another word for "farm" or "estate". The term "Providence Plantations" actually means "God's Lands." Slavery was abolished in RI in 1784, long before the Civil War, and we fought on the side of the Union. - So, what's the problem?

    Therefore, if some people today find that word "hurtful," then they need to go get a dictionary or read up on local history. And, if their feelings are still hurt, then they need a therapist to work on their self-image.

    Plus, changing the name of the state doesn't address the REAL issues facing some minorities - issues such as poverty, ignorance, gangs, lack of two-parent families, poor urban schools, etc.

    So why aren't they complaining about THOSE things? No, much better to worry about something that's a smokescreen - so their "feelings" aren't hurt.

    That's the same as me and my family getting all upset about TV programs such as "The Sopranos" or demanding that the book "The Godfather" be taken off store shelves because it's "hurtful" to us non-mafia Italian-Americans.

    Please - spare me from this politically correct foolishness.

  18. PS.

    Although all of my grandparents emigrated from Italy, my father enlisted in the Navy right after Pearl Harbor.

    And, my mother's brother was killed on the USS Yorktown in the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

    Because of that, my mother (who just passed away this April) was chosen to christen a submarine for the Navy in November, 1942.

    She was the sponsor of the USS Plaice, Hull No. SS390.

    That's what makes us all Americans. What we DO, not what we GET.

  19. did anyone notice that the cola signs are actual shutters for the windows??
    how practical!!!

  20. Maybe after Rhode Island eliminates "Plantation" from the state name, they will pass a law to forbid the use of the word "niggardly" because it sounds like that other bad word.

  21. I read somewhere that "The shame of homelessness belongs to the landlord", and I guess I buy into that. Partly, I suppose, because my forebears came to this country because the landlords wanted to raise sheep rather than rent the land to people. The problem is, it's not a very popular sentiment nowadays. The bottom line is king. The job is more important than the person doing it.

    Part of the "job" of any government is to protect and ensure the well-being of the people being governed. It doesn't mean supporting them, but it does mean making sure that they aren't denied their opportunity by the unscrupulous. We have wandered away from that path and I don't know how to get back to it.

    The founding fathers set up a pretty good system. A big part of that was built on the idea that the people need to take part in their governance. That was a prime reason for not providing "wages" for the Executive and Legislative branches (don't know immediately about the Judicial Branch), because the didn't want to attract professional politicians. Now, one term in National office and you are paid for life. Not to mention health insurance and all the other perks. That's just wrong!

    It's very frustrating. It's really unfortunate that, contrary to many politicians claims, good times don't trickle down. Crap does, but good times don't seem to.

  22. The worst problem is too many people know and care more for what is happening on their favorite tv show than what our government is doing to us.


  23. I watched the movie 1776 this weekend. (From the Broadway musical play.) I always resisted it before thinking that historical subject wouldn't lend itself to song, but it works. Naturally, events and people are condensed and combined for conciseness and dramatic effect. A key scene of the film concerns the question of omitting the anti slavery clause from the Declaration of Independence (otherwise the South would not sign) and one very dramtic song is about the mutual dependence of the North and South on the slave labor, slave trading, molasses and rum. Who'd think there would be a show stopping tune on that topic! Although the play gives the impression that the North resisted efforts to remove the slavery clause from the Declaration, in fact all colonies were pretty equally in agreement to delete it.
    As SmartGirl mentioned last week, the original endowment of Brown University came from the profits of the slave trade. It's all very complex. While the Boston Tea Party is famous, high taxes on molasses probably impacted many more people.

  24. Anon:

    Coincidentally, there is an article in today's (June 8) Providence Journal about the slave and rum trade in Newport (RI) and how important it was.

    you can see it at:

    Of course, this article has to appear right when they're covering the name change thing.

    However, Newport is located on Aquidneck Island (originally known as "Rhode" island), which is in Narragansett Bay. It's NOT in Providence Plantations, which is the mainland part of the sate

    So all the more reason not to change the name.


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