Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fredonia...Town Lost in Time

Across America there are many small towns much like Fredonia, Kansas, they are off the beaten path, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

photo above...looking down one of Fredonia's downtown side streets at an example of the town's many red brick buildings...old, distinguished, a memory of days gone by.

Quiet solitude might sound inviting but it is not a formula conducive to growth, or least not in today's hectic, multitasking life style. Fredonia and its sister cities are lingering, hanging on by a thin thread, the youths of these tranquil, bucolic villages have little to do and even less in the way of jobs and earning a livelihood. With less than stellar prospects awaiting them in their hometowns young adults wander off, attracted by the bright lights and bright promises that the larger cities offer.

The drive from Wichita to Fredonia was a good hour and most of it was through farm land. Acre after acre of hay, some newly mowed and rolled into tidy bales that dotted the landscape, others awaiting the mowers. Fields that boasted brilliant sunflowers which, at this time of year, had lost the glory of their golden petals. Their heads, now heavy with ripening seeds, no longer followed the sun's course through the sky but hung earthward, as though staring sullenly at the ground, bemoaning the loss of their fleeting beauty. Mile upon mile of sunflowers, must have been breathtaking when they were in their glory.

We passed through a couple of small towns and then into Fredonia. As we drove down the main street I couldn't help but feel as though Fredonia was trapped in a time warp. So many beautiful, old buildings, traffic nonexistent, what should have been a bustling downtown was silent, empty except for one or two stray pedestrians. Down the side streets were neat little houses, tidy yards and several for sale signs. I did glimpse a couple of young women with their babies in tow, so there were still some youth that inhabited this quaint little town. Did their husbands work nearby or did they work in Wichita, an hours drive away ? And what did they do for entertainment ? I can't say as I saw a cinema around town, or even a pizza parlor for that matter, though there was one in a larger neighboring town about 20 minutes away.

Perhaps Fredonians spent more time socializing, having get-togethers, barbecues, dinners, pot luck at the local church? I could envision women sitting out on the veranda of a large stately old Victorian house, watching their children play in the yard as they sipped iced tea, or pink lemonade and talked about the goings and comings in their little kingdom. A place where everyone knew everyone else and names flowed easily with every greeting; "Howdy Miss. Janie, how are the kids ? Is little Katie over that nasty bee sting she got last weekend ? Heard your brother George got a promotion at work. Tell him I'm right happy for him." Did the ladies have luncheons and play canasta when their many chores were done?...or the men have beer and pretzels on their poker night? Maybe there were even Tupperware and Mary Kay parties? Doing things together, like we once did long ago in a forgotten time. Perhaps !

Below are a few photos of a lovely Fredonia florist and gift shop called "Flowers & Nice Things", it was here that we purchased flowers for the graves of Vada and John (my hubby's parents).

Photos above and below...As you walk into "Flowers & Nice Things" you're greeted by a vast assortment of lovely gift items and beautiful accent pieces. I could have spent a few hours in this shop!

photos below...the lovely wood fireplace mantle caught my eye and for a moment commanded my undivided attention. This main room branched off into a couple of other rooms, 2 of which held more lovely decorator items and the 3rd was where the real work was done...the arranging of fresh floral bouquets. I would have gotten photos of the girls putting the bouquets together but they already were looking at me and thinking; "Who is that crazy lady? And why is she taking so many photos of the inside of our shop?"

Hopefully tomorrow I can post the photos of downtown Fredonia but, as of this moment, John wishes my help in selecting the paint color for a laundry room cabinet. The inside of the cabinet is a shade of gray and we've already spent an hour or two scouring the house in hopes of finding something that is just that shade of gray. Alas, everything we found was either too light, too dark, to silvery, too blue gray, too white gray, too brown gray...on and on...but never the right shade of gray ! So now we must head out to our local home improvement store and select a number of paint chips to bring back...hopefully we'll find a matching shade of gray !

Until my next post, I wish you all have joy and wonder, peace and prosperity.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a cool looking town! A teeny tiny part of me loves this kind of place and would love to have grown up somewhere like that, but the bigger part of me feels that the 20,000 person everyone-knows-everyone "small town" I grew up was small enough thanks haha!


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