Originally uploaded by Rural Rose
My grandparents had their first date here. According to my grandpa (who is 89 now), they had their first kiss in the parking lot.
I took this picture several years ago for a photography class, the kind where you develop film in the darkroom. The class was in Galesburg, Illinois, but drove down to Macomb to try to capture this spot (as well as the soda fountain in the Ford Hopkins drug store and the still-standing-but-not-functioning drive-in theater screen: a couple of random places around Macomb that, in my opinion, give it character and also a bit of the feeling that time hasn’t advanced much here.)
I ate at this Maid Rite a couple of times about 10 years ago; the steamburgers and greasy fries were tasty, but you also left there smelling like the place for the rest of the day.
It’s such an obvious little anachronism, this mom-and-pop place where my grandparents would have gone as kids, that it easily catches your eye when you drive by. And in fact, I have come to learn since my attempt at black-and-white photography here that it’s a frequent site of inspiration for photographers.
It’s closed and for sale now—has been for awhile—and I wonder what will become of it.