The last time I was in Hamburg I asked a policeman where I could get breakfast. He told me. I took a look at the Post Office as I turned to walk toward food. The Post Office was proof that I had been in this town before.
I walked past an empty building that had once been Foot and Son’s Grocery. The five and Ten was gone as was the Ashley County Leader, the old name for the county newspaper.
Van Carpenter’s clothing store was missing and Sawyer’s Drug now sold food but it was not open for breakfast. What’s the point? Walker’s Hardware was empty. Across the street, Hester’s was growing grass instead of fixing hamburgers. Judge Ethridge was no longer practicing law and his office was gone.
The Baptist Church had been replaced with, well, it hadn’t been replaced, it had been upgraded. In its place was an education space. Across the street Mr. and Mrs. Serrett’s house was gone. She hired me to rake her yard one fall but I never finished the task. I would tell you that I was going to do it on this very day but that would not be true. Anyway I couldn’t finish it on this day because I was going to breakfast at the service station across the street from an Icon that let me know that Hamburg was still grounded in its faith. The Methodist Church played a song on the bells that made me smile. Thanks for reminding me that Hamburg is not ashamed of praising God in public.
The breakfast was good. I wondered later what their rating was. I am alive so what difference does it make. The lady that fed me took time to make gravey that didn’t have sausage in it. Try getting that service at The Mac. I decided to give them a 100 rating, so there.
As I moved back toward my ride I passed the building that housed the first job that I remember. Nap Murphy performing for the citizens of Hamburg. He sold gas and also had a tow service. I continued up the street.
I looked left and every thing across the west side of the street was different. The buildings were there but the businesses were different. The old hotel on the east side was now part of Carpenter’s but he was gone, moved to Russellville.
Harvell’s Hamburger joint did not move when the Pool Hall moved down the street. It was also gone. Maybe Hamburg no longer needs a place for kids to hang out. Mothers may not have approved of their sons being there but at least they knew where we were. Right James (Jimmy)? He was not the only one. My mother also chased me out of the hall one afternoon.
I got in my car and within four hours I was headed back to Tennessee. Like Hamburg, Nashville has also changed in the last fourty plus years. Hamburg was a great place to grow up. As they say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Thanks for the memories and for the old friends that still make me want to call Hamburg home.