Hunting Strange on Main Street in Hollyhill
Hello. Jocie Brooke here reporting from Main Street, Hollyhill, Kentucky where everything seems pretty ordinary the same as every day. My fellow reporter, Wesley Green, thinks I’ll spot something strange to report on here in our new venture, the Hollyhill Book of the Strange. But I’m still thinking the Book of the Ordinary would suit our little town better. He shakes his head at me and says everything seems pretty strange here to him, seeing as how he landed here from Jupiter.
I can’t argue with that. I’m sure if I was up on Jupiter, I’d think things were strange. That’s the one that has all the moons. Wes says over sixty of them, but only four that look much like our earth moon. Think about looking up at the sky and seeing four moons shining down on you with dozens of others popping out here and there like bouncing balls. Wes says folks going out at night on Jupiter have to wear hats to keep from getting moonburnt. That could definitely make a book of the strange.
But here in Hollyhill we only have one moon to shine down on our Main Street. So come on and we’ll walk down it together. You can poke me if you notice something strange that I’ve looked at all my life and think is ordinary as can be. Of course, then I may just think you’re strange.
First we’ll go down Main Street where the stores are lined up on either side, snuggled edge to edge. We have two stoplights – one in front of the courthouse and another up by the post office on the north end of town. The post office was built during the Great Depression by the WPA. That was the government giving people jobs and our little town got a great big post office out of it. That’s kind of interesting but not exactly strange since it happened in towns all across the country. Then again it might be strange that they built it up so high off the street. The workers must have had a fondness for building steps or maybe it was just to make the job last longer.
We have two grocery stores, two ten cent stores, two banks, two drugstores, two ladies’ dress shops, two lawyer offices, two hardware stores, two furniture stores, two Laundromats, and two grills. Notice a trend here? Well, before you decide Hollyhill has two of everything which might be decidedly strange, I’ll point out we only have one newspaper office, one barbershop, one defunct hotel, one chiropractor’s office. There are three poolrooms that are off limits to kids like me. To make up for whatever mischief might go on in them, four churches anchor both ends of Main Street – First Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian and Methodist. The Pentecostal and Second Baptist churches are on back streets behind Main. Oh, I forgot the jewelry stores – two of them too. But only one men’s store. There used to be a movie house, but it went out of business years ago. Dad tells me when he was a kid there was a bowling alley in the upstairs rooms over where the wallpaper store is now. That’s strange enough to think about. Somebody bowling over top your head. There used to be an Opera House and hotel too, right across from the train depot, but that’s on a side street up from Main. Oh, and I forgot the car dealerships, Ford and Chevrolet, that are right on Main Street. And there’s two gas stations at the end of town past that courthouse stoplight going south.
Whew, I’m beginning to wonder how all of these buildings can be squeezed along one Main Street. The churches and the post office do spill on down the street from the two and a half block center of town. And that most important building, the library is on another side street up from the Post Office. We have Andrew Carnegie to thank for that. I looked him up in the encyclopedia and he gave building grants to start over 1,600 libraries in America and Hollyhill’s was one of them. Thank you, Mr. Carnegie!
So we’ve walked down Main and taken a side trip up to the library, but I’ve not spotted much strange. Did you? If so let me know so I can take another look. And meet me again next Monday. By then something exciting might have happened. Don’t hold your breath, but I suppose anything is possible. Even in Hollyhill.
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