I admit I need a personal connection to stay focused on issues sometimes, and with riding, that personal tie came in the form of finding roots to the area where I’ve lived for the last 2 ½ years. I’ve been an author, historian, and genealogist for many years, more than I care to admit, and when I moved here I thought I left all my family ties behind. In doing another genealogy project recently I found relatives who lived all around S. Central Alabama and cemeteries filled with tombstones bearing their names.
Now, when I ride through a county or a town I have a reference point – “Oh, so this is where great great grand aunt What’s-her-name lived”. Or perhaps seeing an old brick building I recognize it as the mill where a distant relative worked at the turn of the century.
Call me shallow, but knowing about them has grounded me to the area in a way I didn’t feel before. Sure, I started a new life here and have been amazingly happy, but until recently I had no roots here.
After church Sunday we rode into Mississippi to work on some contests for Motor Maids. As we got to Marion Junction, AL and took a photo we noticed a nice old white frame church and rode over to have a closer look. Since I didn’t see any times for services on the sign, I imagine the congregation may have moved to a newer building, but the white frame with the steeple had real character.
Making the circle to get back to the highway we saw a brick building that probably dated from the late 1800’s, and was probably initially a train station judging from its location right by the tracks. At some later point in time it apparently was a bank according to some signage visible through the broken windows. As we rode on, my imagination ran wild thinking about the people who had been in and out of the buildings over the years going about their daily lives which were so different from today. You can also call me a romantic if you wish.
We hear a lot about the current recession and the hardships it has brought on, but I think perhaps the hardest hit has been historic sites. With no money for repairs, irreplaceable old homes and buildings have gone to rack and ruin with little hope of ever being salvaged. Once gone, gone forever, except perhaps, in photos. I must be more diligent in photographing such sites.
Ride safe, and take time to enjoy the scenery around you. Vrumblesramblingbikerblog.wordpress.com