Where in Carolina Country is This?

October 2012
October 2012

A good number of you from various places in the state recognized the photo of a collapsing building in Sampson County, sent to us by John and Bonnie Diebert of Morehead City. It's at the intersection of US 13 (Fayetteville-Newton Grove Highway) and Hollerin' Road just west of Spivey's Corner. The winning entry, chosen at random from all correct submissions, was from Angela Futrell of Mt. Olive, a member of Tri-County EMC.

Who would have thought that the sight of a falling-down old building would inspire not one, but two people to write poems about it? The building is shown in our October magazine, the subject of the "Where Is This?" contest. Donnie Spell of Dunn told us "It was a store run by the owner, Pernon Jackson, until he died in 1956. It had previously been run by Pernon's father, Willie Jackson, who died in 1947. It was moved farther away from the highway in the 1990s."Various storms and old age have caused the building to lean a little more each year since then. Johnnie Maretta Vaughn of Fayetteville and D. Leigh Sumner of Newton Grove each sent us poems they have written about this building. Here they are.

The Good Old Days

By Johnnie Maretta Vaughn

I look at your beauty
I think a lot about life.
I imagine the excitement of your beginning
Just like the birth of a newborn baby.

I vision there was an idea, a purpose, a plan, a place for folks to gather.
A place of service or just a place to talk about events of the day.
A place to think or maybe a place to spend some alone time
To ponder over necessary thoughts for a better tomorrow.

What is the secret to the mystery of The Gold Old Days?
Suddenly, the blinders of life's journey are removed
You are left with the acknowledgement
That time can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

As a young adult you never think about growing old, just living for today.
Just like this beautiful old building
One day you find yourself not able to stand tall anymore.
The beauty of yesteryear has slowly taken its tolled and passed you by.

Years of hard work linger all about
Things are falling apart.
Yet, with age there comes wisdom.
Others can see the purpose, the plan, the service once rendered.

Just as this landmark was full of life
It was eventually left alone to take care of its self.
Is this true of life?
Don't we all need to be nurtured to the end?

As we travel down the road of life
There is something significant and beautiful about this adventure.
With great expectations we simmer and stand the test of time.
And before we know it, we slowly crumble and fall.

When we are alone in this world
Fighting to maintain some form of life
There will always be someone
Who will continue to see the beauty of The Good Old Days.

Just look at this old rundown structure
Still standing and leaning to one side.
The pretty red color of the main roof still adorns the body of the building
As the roof of the front porch could no longer stand.

Objects all around have long stopped working.
The canvas of it all is embraced by the weeds creeping tall all about.
Time standing still throughout the seasons.
Yet, there is still beauty to behold to the eyes of the beholder.

Full of imagination and stories about The Good Old Days
As people travel back and forth
On North Carolina Highway 13 North or South.
Through it all, someone took the time

To see beyond the shabby frame still left
Of the beautiful existence of this old building.
What a comfort to know there are still memories for this old landscape.

Proudly and majestically holding secrets of The Good Old Days.

D. Leigh Sumner of Newton Grove told us the building was once a store that belonged to the Jackson family. She, too, has written some verse about this building:

Aging and Weathered

I have watched this building lean
Progressively more each year
Yet still it stands
Like an elderly person in a body worn down
Broken, then repaired, over and again
Aging and weathered
Through a lifetime of experience and hard work.

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