I moseyed into town today and ate lunch at Rudy's barbecue. They may not make the best barbecue in Texas but there always consistently good wherever I find one. So I can depend on getting really good barbecue no matter which Rudy's I go into.
I walked around the old part of town in Del Rio and took a few pictures. The old Part of Del Rio is just like the old part of so many towns in America that used to be called "downtown". It's faded, and worn, and down on its luck, but still hanging in there with a few Ma and Pa type stores barely making a living, but at least the property tax is low.
The old downtown in Del Rio didn't look as bad as I thought it would. In fact most of the stores were still in business instead of the other way around. There was some renovation going on in a couple of large buildings, but even after renovation it's pretty hard to lease out a large building because big businesses don't like to be downtown due to the parking problems. And small businesses can't afford a stock a huge store. So often the large old buildings get rebuilt into several commercial rentals, or just sit empty.
I like to take pictures of an old downtown area because it's got history, and class, and yes it's even got soul. Whereas the new part of town where we all shop now is no more interesting to me than a Walmart. The new buildings on Main Street don't say anything, they don't speak to me when I walk by, they have no history, they definitely have no soul.
But when I walked by the old Kress building I could hear the clack of the cash register keys and the bell that rang every time the cash drawer opened, after all they called it ringing up an order for a reason. I could hear the kids laughing as they ran down the aisles filled with 10 cent toys and touching each one as they went by. I could hear the teenagers at Kress soda fountain talking about the Hot Rod there were going to build some day. But most of all I could hear myself calling my Mom over to look at some toy or gadget that I just had to have.
The old Kress building spoke to me as I walked by. It was empty but a sign in the window said they have bingo there every Thursday and Sunday, so it's still alive, it's still being used, and it will always have soul.