|Presbyterian Church, Piggott, Ar
Flying down Main Street in a cool car driving somewhere better, the old church cornerstone is a blur, the cemetery overgrown, the dilapidated house with gingerbread trim faded. The town appears abandoned, a ghostly whistle-stop off the interstate. Small-town stereotypes come to mind leaving an empty feeling, a who-on-earth-lives-here feeling. Stopping at the single red light seems ridiculous with not a soul in sight. You have some place to be. Some place exciting. Some other place. But walking the neighborhood, studying the building design and reading the historical markers bring back life. A life. A history. Every place is someone’s home, someone’s place to remember. It crosses someone’s mind.
|Faded mural on side of building
Last night I walked for hours taking pictures of this little town that at first glance appeared forlorn, forgotten, faded. A passerby waved and an old man said hello from his porch swing. A stone cottage surrounded by a sizable garden with rows and rows of vegetables and apple trees caught my eye. It was framed by a rock wall, crooked yet perfect. I coveted it. I considered knocking on the door to ask permission to walk beyond the stone wall. Tomatoes already grew heavy on the vine. Could I have garden tour and learn the secret to this abundance? Would the gardeners who live within those walls consider me crazy? Do I care? It was late so I thought better of it.
Piggott reminds me of Keiser where I attended grade school, trick-or-treated on Halloween and hung out with my friends on weekends. I’m sure travelers blow through thinking it to be a sad, depressing place. They didn’t know Vic and Bobby Don who always hung out at the gas station guarding the entrance into town, or Howard Ray who road his bicycle affectionately named Trigger, or the Shake Shack with slap-yo-momma Pizza Burgers. But we do. We were part of it. We remember cotton trailers lined up at the gin, Edwina’s Beauty Shop always smelling of perms, and Spin-the-Bottle in Nana’s dimly lit attic. We remember cheering on the Keiser Yellow Jackets. We remember.