When I was a kid, my family would spend summers in Christiana, Tennessee, a small unincorporated town on the outskirts of Nashville. There was a little general store called Miller’s General Store located on the main drag– the only drag– in town.
I remember the old and warped wooden floors that creaked and groaned under my feet. I remember Mr. Miller, the owner who seemed to me like he was older than dirt. I remember that you could pick up essential grocery needs, bait and fishing tackle, and rented movies, among other things. It was like something out of a movie like Fried Green Tomatoes.
One of my favorite memories is of my sister and me riding to Miller’s in the back of a flatbed Ford and getting to pick out soft drinks out of the iced cooler they kept up front. They weren’t in cans. These were in glass bottles– the good stuff. They had Nehi, Cheerwine, Kick, and Sundrop, as well as the standards like Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite. That was a real treat.
Fast forward a few years and this little general store is now a thriving restaurant. They have the typical meat and three menu with some of the best desserts you will ever put in your mouth. I look forward to every time I go there for good food, good atmosphere, good people, and– sometimes– good music.
I guess that goes to show how beautiful it is when something is redeemed and repurposed instead of lost or destroyed.