Friendly Truck Stop, Swain County, NC - 2007
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
The phrase "theater of the mind" has been used to describe the old radio shows of the pre-television era. Radio actors would provide dialog and sound effects, and the listener would allow the scenes and action to form in his imagination. I enjoy listening to Prairie Home Companion on Saturday evenings on the local NPR station, where you can still experience this kind of radio program.
Some photographs can provide a somewhat similar experience. When I look at this photo of a long abandoned truck stop, I like to imagine what it was like in its heyday. I can see waitresses in the kind of uniforms they usually wore in the 1950s. I can smell the coffee brewing, and hear the clink of cups and dishes as food is being served. I can hear the jukebox playing Patsy Cline in the background. I can see the trucks pulling in and out to fuel, or get a tire fixed. There's conversation, and sometimes laughter in the air as old truckers share their jokes and stories. It's all still there in that empty, vine choked building. All you need is your imagination.