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Two Blinking Lights

Really, that's all I saw of White Springs--two blinking lights on Highway 41. There may be more, and I bet there is, but my little visit was confined to that portion of WS. According to this article, the population in the previous census was 809, although a slight increase of population has been duly noted.

It wasn't always that way. My goodness, it was once quite the hot spot, and as I said yesterday, historic, or at least that is what the water tower claims. Here is why it once boasted 14 grand hotels:
Yes, you read that right- claims that either bathing, or drinking the water, would cure most anything, from arthritis to dandruff. Insomnia? You were at the right place. Is it any wonder I'm such a skeptic of the current health claims? I have no doubt that 100 years from now, people think we are just as crazy!

The structure is still standing, although there are no examining rooms, nor flowing water for that matter.
What was once a flowing spring, to the tune of 47 million gallons a day, is now merely a stagnant pond. Apparently it took about 30 years for :springs as a cure-all" to fall out of favor. But, while they were still a hot ticket, hotels for the throngs of tourists were built, and a few of them are still standing in the historic district.
The above house appeared to be vacant, as was the hotel, pictured below, most recently used as a bed and breakfast.
I wish the light were better on this one, but I was shooting towards the sun with no other options. At any rate, it is one odd structure, what with the rocks, bricks and the top being copper. Ugly, some might say.

You won't see this sight just anywhere:
The lady on the scooter was doing her best to keep up with, I'm presuming, her grandson on the skateboard.

Just across the street from this Monday afternoon Coke run, stands one of the oldest buildings in White Springs.
Recently straightened, and obviously scraped, it no longer does business as a general store. Instead it houses a museum of old things, the hours of operation I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that when I walked around the corner and saw this:
I most certainly had to investigate. Look closely and you'll see a man in a light blue shirt with his back to the camera. Walking through the open gates, I called out, asking if he minded if I took a few photographs. Asking me what kind, art perhaps?, I said yes, something like that. Lo and behold, he said, "let me open the museum for you--we are working, but you are free to roam about." Hell yes, I said. Not really! Thanking him, I followed him through the big door, and he turned right around to get back to his work. Well now, what did I see?
Yup, all manner of gas pumps, signage, barber chairs, household stuff,
and, what I'm presuming was the old soda fountain:
Please note the health food claim on the PET ice cream sign! This was one of my favorite signs
because I always thought gas stations offered restrooms! A service indeed. :)

It was jam packed with other stuff, all of it interesting, and a good reminder of the adage: there's only one constant in life and that is change!

I was checking my watch for two reasons--I had not eaten since my bagel stop, and then too, Bruce was expecting me at the jobsite by 3:30. My visit to White Springs had to be cut short. I got back on the highway, traveling back the way I came. Any other day I might dream up a detour, but Monday I was on the straight and narrow.

On the outskirts of town I saw this place and figured that the owners of the realty sign have their work cut out for them:
Along the roadway, right near where I am standing, is a locked box accepting old toys and clothes. Someone had the nerve to leave this Care Bear and friend out in the cold!
My drive once again took me into downtown Lake City where I hoped to try another of the local establishments. Goodness knows there aren't many to choose from. I decided to see if The Cafe was still serving lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon. Please forgive the glare on this shot of their sign:
I would not have posted it EXCEPT for the fact that it was anything but what they claimed. I walked into a large room with some tables scattered about, a stage for performers, and at the end of the room a smallish bar which is where I headed. If not for one young man using his computer, I would have been the only patron. Originally the proprietor handed me a wrinkled, tri-fold, homemade menu, then decided perhaps I'd like a fresh one. Why, thank you. I chose a BLT on toast please. He said his son would make it for me. So far, so good. Then the man said he would be back soon, had to run home to get his wife. Okay. Waiting on the sandwich, I began reviewing some of the photos on my camera.  After a fairly short time, out came the, pale as can be sandwich, minus both the browning and mayonnaise. It was cheap though. I'd have preferred some mayonnaise, however, I shut up and ate. Hunger will do that sometimes.

It was then that the "son" began talking to me, and boy did he talk, except he had a bit of speech impediment hampering my comprehension. What I did get from him is this:

  • 19 years old
  • Has lived in about eight, or so places
  • Has never met his "real father"
  • Quit high school, but is working on his GED
  • Thought the population of Florida was 100,000
  • The reason for the moves was, I think, his older brother's dad was running from something?
  • While living in upper Michigan, he claims they could see the smoke from NYC on 9/11
  • He was bullied by the kids at school
So, all in all, a pretty sad life if you ask me. Along with his speech problems, everything was spoken in a monotone. He agreed to a photograph, thanking me for not using a flash.
"The Cafe", has only been open since October, so maybe they are still working out the kinks. Let's hope so, for all of their sakes.

Mr. Bruce, as is usually the case, still had more work to do when I arrived leaving me with time to read the newspaper. Offering to let him take over the driving, he claimed it was pretty nice having a chauffeur. We pulled into our driveway about 6:45 after an uneventful trip home.

While I was fixing some supper Bruce turned on the television, settling on Paladia. First there was a rock and roll show, followed by, At Home with Daryl, or I think that is the name. His guest happened to be Rumer, a female British artist, who it just so happens is on my iTunes, courtesy of Matthew. Great show, and just when we thought we both couldn't stay up for one more minute, Sade's latest concert came on, and was it ever super my friends. Cherish the Day for sure!
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