Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome to Marion, North Carolina

I wouldn’t go so far as to call Marion, North Carolina a dreadful little town. The Chamber of Commerce types would coo, "Oooooh, it GROWS on you!" The same thing could be said about jock itch: "Oooooh, it GROWS on you!"

You have to wonder about a town that finds it necessary to greet visitors with the warning not to park on the sidewalks.

Was that a problem?

Were hordes of drivers so stupid they could not distinguish a sidewalk from a parking space? And if they were that stupid, what makes you think they would read a sign, much less heed it? But I guess the sign works. I mean, I didn’t park on the sidewalk ONCE during my visit.

Before I could finish pondering the first sign at the edge of town, a great big billboard caught my attention.

At best, using celebrities to promote mental health services is a questionable strategy. But Abraham Lincoln? Vivien Leigh? What demographic was Tanyi trying to reach with this billboard, anyhow? The Rhett Butler - Ulysses Grant set?

The guy that called me "depressive and shrill" last week should go to Marion. Right there in black and white on the Tanyi’s billboard is the very image of "Depressive" and "Shrill" personified as the beloved "Abe" and "Viv". I feel better now.

While visiting Marion, North Carolina you could go shopping at the Lady Marian Plaza.

But why would you?

Their sign must have been the most modern thing in town. In 1966. And why Lady Marian? Robin Hood’s girlfriend, I assume. But that’s Marian with an "A". The town is Marion with an "O". So why do we have the Lady Marian Plaza? What’s the point? Might as well throw in a "T" and call it the Lady Martian Plaza!

It was lunch time and my belly was rumbling. I pulled over at the Western Sizzlin and was about to scurry in for a quick bite until I read their sign. The ENTIRE sign. "Mr. Roach?" Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry anymore.

Actually, there was only one reason I left Interstate 40 to cruise Marion. I intended to take a photograph for you. But the one and only photograph I planned to take was the one photograph I could not take.

You see, Marion did have one feature I found attractive, and that was a camera shop built to look just like…A CAMERA!

I went out of my way to snap a picture of it, but there was just one small problem. The camera shop was gone! Vanished! Vamoose! Poof!

I learned my lesson. I should have taken a picture of it last year, when it was still there. Thank goodness for cyberspace, where I did manage to find an old photo of the camera shop that looked like a camera.

So while I wouldn’t go so far as to call Marion, North Carolina a dreadful little town, I contend that now more than ever the virtual Marion is far preferable to the real one.

I discovered the photo of the Marion camera shop on a really nifty blog by Sarah Bryan called "Field Guide to What’s Good." It's an awesome collection of photos showing us the South at its very finest!


Western North Carolina Writer's Underground said...

Those Marion folks are going to hang you in effigy! Wouldn't that be fun to see though--anonymously standing in a mob watching one's home-made avatar being hung (or burned) in effigy. What a story to tell the grand kids!

GULAHIYI said...

Thanks, Chuck! I contend that hanging (or burning) the VIRTUAL Gulahiyi is far preferable to hanging the REAL one!

libbi greene said...

I have read your "comments" with interest! Although I have lived in Miami,New Hampshire, Charlotte, And Knoxville, I DO find this place quite nice. I don't have to wear mace or protective equipment to walk to the store. I don't have to worry about the kids playing by the school. I have a very nice home on a medium income that I can afford and I don't have to grab a cab if I want to go somewhere. Although you feel these signs are horrible...it's to keep small people like you, little guys with no imagination, way back wherever your lonely and insecure soul (if you have one) is hopefully not reproducing. Your poor parents!!! What a shame they have to call you "son" much less sane.

Marion NC Resident said...

For the record, the Camera-shaped store was never used for its intended purpose. The "Picture Perfect" Nail Salon moved in after the original builder was unable to complete opening the building as a Camera Shop.

Bonnie said...

Well...very impressive observations you make. May jock itch continue to grow on you and may you never visit Marion, NC again.