Friday, April 3, 2009
Sibley's General Store
This is a picture of Cecil Sibley's store which now houses the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center. I'll talk more about all that in a minute, but first let's take a glimpse into how my brain interprets things.
While most of you probably see a store and a stop sign, not necessarily in that order, the very first thing I see are lines. Vertical lines, horizontal lines. Lines, lines, lines.
Running down the brick wall on the right are lines which lead your eye to the up and down lines of the signs and then the left to right line of the Main Street sign. I then jump to the left and right lines of the electrical wire and then the up and down and left to right lines of the store, its windows, then the up and down/left to right lines of the porch rails. There are even lines in the crosswalk of the street. Lines. Lots of lines. Definitely lots of lines.
The line-obsessed portion of this post is now over.
The strong desire to talk about the movie Rain Man is being squelched by my desire to talk about Sibley's, but remind me to come back to my Rain Man tendencies some time, preferably in the presence of a trained professional.
Sibley's General Store was a functioning commercial establishment when I was comin' along, and Mr. Cecil Sibley ran it. Mamma would take me there to get horse feed or vegetable seeds, with the occasional need for a halter or curry comb. (In spite of the rat's nest that was my hair, the curry comb was for our resident stubborn pony.)
A sweet, helpful man, Mr. Sibley and his white hair presided behind the counter except for those times when he disappeared into the back room. When he returned, he always produced exactly what you came in there to purchase, no matter how obscure the item.
Today, Sibley's houses the local tourist information center. Behind the main store is a smaller building dating to the mid-1800's. Some architects believe it's one of the few examples of ______________. (Fill in the blank with an impressive word which has to do with something that's really, really old and valuable, because I can't remember what it is and even so my word would be entirely unimpressive.)
Sibley's has been nominated to the register of Virginia landmarks. Whether accepted or not, the store is a treasure loaded with fond memories of simpler times when there were no Wal-Marts, and most of your non-grocery needs could be met by a friendly man wearing an apron, standing behind the counter of a small country store.