Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Down A Hollar To Dante, Virginia

You might think you've gone to hell, but Dante rhymes with "paint." Get your southern accent on and it rolls off the tongue. Dante is classic coal, a tiny town crammed into a hollar, created by a coal company that brought tracks into the area to pull all the black gold out. Glory days and heavy mining are long gone. Left behind, signs of another era.

Empty hopper cars outside the center of town.

You've arrived. A friendly greeting. Main street is a set of railroad tracks with company houses dotting the sides.

Old Christmas decoration in the dilapidated train depot.

Ball field. Iconic view, tracks through a hollar.

Never able to forget why the town exists.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Welcome To Bristol, Tennessee (Virginia)

Nothing like straddling states. The city of Bristol does just that trick - and its main street has the appropriate name - State Street. Half of it in Virginia, the other half in Tennessee. Bristol is famous for hosting the big bang of country music, a seminal recording session that took place in 1927. There's a nice, new Smithsonian museum in town that covers that event. Bristol must have also prospered under nearby coal deposits. Now, NASCAR is a big draw.

Welcoming the tourist dollars to town.

Another famous draw for Bristol, the last place where Hank Williams was seen alive. Right here, in a car parked in front of this joint. Closed store storage.

Bridal display.

Mannequins on Main Street, in a country store and a religious display.

Cleaning out an office, file cabinets gather in a parking lot.