Monday, March 05, 2007

Nothing to pump: Our Children's future?

Fred First came up with this caption in the "Name Game" contest, and also had this to say:

"Nothing to Pump: Our Children's Future?
Looks like a great magazine article image (photoshop out the barbed wire?) for a piece about the "end of oil".
These old pumps are also such symbols of community--found at the old country stores that were also the post office, feed and seed, and checkers-playing hubs of a neighborhood. This makes this rusty remnant of an era all the more lonely-seeming-- looking back on so much, looking ahead to such a bleak energy future if we don't change our ways in major and immediate ways. "

I chose this caption because it made me the wheels turning in my head, so to speak. As a mom of a young child, oil dependency and the pending oil crisis is something I MUST think about. What will my son's future look like if we don't find another source of sustainable energy and start trying to repair the ecological and environmental travesties that plaque us now? I wanted to try to find some good websites on this topic to post along with this....Here is one I found that is having an open conversation about Oil and sustainability. If any of you know of others, please feel free to share them.

Another part of his comment resonated with the old country stores that had pumps like this used to be the hub of the community, a gathering place. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there are still these types of places. You can go to one of several local gas stations/convenience stores nearby and find the farmers, construction workers, retirees, etc. standing in the corner together discussing all the local going-ons. You can smell bacon frying as the store clerks make breakfast sandwiches. It's a place where you are known....and if you aren't, you are referred to as 'Hun or Darlin' . The ladies there know your regular purchases. If I stray from the norm, they say, "Oh, you're buying The Grapevine today with your paper." They give Sir Laughsalot free slurpees "just for bein' so daggone cute!" They may not look as ancient on the outside, like our local 7-11 on the corner, but the spirit of the old gathering places resonates there.

There are still some old general stores and gas stations out on the rural roads, the kind with wooden plank floors and front porches with benches and rocking chairs.....I hope to go on another Photo Safari when the weather warms up and share these treasures with you.

What is the community hub where you live? Since many of you live all over the country... and world, for that matter, I'd love to hear the different places " where the locals go" in your area.

(sidenote: Here is a post by my blogging friend, Kirsten, about sustainability. She also includes some good links.)


photowannabe said...

Even though our town is relatively small 39,000. we really don't have a community type meeting place. I think for me its our local Safeway Super Market. I usually see someone I know in there and most of the checkers have been there for a long time and always chat a bit while they work.
I would like to have more of a small town atmosphere like you have.

kirsten said...

WOW, blue mountain mama! What a fantastic, thought-provoking post. I have been thinking along similar lines about sustainability & consumption ... and what lies ahead for the next generation if this generation's habits aren't changed VERY soon.

And the idea of that pump being a symbol of community - I feel like that is something that is being lost in a lot of areas of the world too (especially in our own country). There are places in my town (of about 70,000 people) where you can still find it - little coffee shops & cafes. But largely, people seem to wander through their days disconnected from the people who live around them. It also makes me think, what am I doing to foster community? Hmm ...

Thanks again - FANTASTIC post!

colleen said...

I bought gas today in Floyd and marveled that the stores here will still take two person checks.

Kendra said...

We have a local bakery down the street that is probably the hub of our little town (about 20,000). We always see someone that we know there, and the walls feature local artwork for sale. There are places to sit inside and out. The only trouble seems to be finding a place to park - good thing that we can walk!

fred said...

Highly recommended reading:

This will be an ongoing series, Making Other Arrangements, and I plan to read and carefully consider the message there on Orion as we look to our future--personal, community and nation.

Jenny said...

I don't know about here (the only places I go are the grocery and Church), but back in KY folks would always be around a little gas/sundries/BBQ place. Every small community had one within ten miles it seemed. I miss those places where "everybody knows your name." I hate being so anonymous now. No one knows me, let alone my grandparents or great grandparents. Oh well. With time, I hope.

By the way, many of the farms (including our family farm) had gas pumps on the property. I always thought they were neat additions to the landscape.

Rosie said...

That sounds like a really great expedition. Perfect for the spring up here, though some of those places really have a life of their own during the winter. I know that the small town I grew up in had at least four of them. Each were very different sorts of places. As communities get larger they also seem to become more insular and less social. I guess its the privacy thing. We have our one little place in Grassy Fork right now.