"" Writer's Wanderings: Got the T-shirt And The Novel Idea!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Got the T-shirt And The Novel Idea!

[Almost ten years ago we made the trip I describe below. It was the catalyst for the novel I am now working on. I still have the T-shirt.]

Recently we made the trip to Florida to see grandkids and catch a couple Indians' spring training games. While in the area, there was an extra stop I wanted to make. About a half hour out of our way was a small area know as Fort Lonesome. There has never been a town there to my knowledge, certainly not a fort, and the most I could find when I researched it was that it had two grocery stores--one of which has since met the wrecking ball.

In my internet search I also discovered that it was considered a ghost town. Well, now isn't that just the juice a novelist needs for some ideas? We arrived mid-morning at the Fort Lonesome Grocery--the only building in sight other than a shed on one corner of the intersection. A couple of large trucks were parked in the gravel lot when we pulled in with our rental car.

Walking inside the store was like walking into a movie scene out of the 50s--the one where the unsuspecting tourists make a stop at the wrong place. We stuck out like sore thumbs. With a half-dozen truckers (all standing with drinks and sandwiches in hand ready to checkout) as an audience, I asked the lady behind the counter if she knew anything about this place being a ghost town. Her answer: "We got live people here and we got dead people here. . .and that's all."

I bought the T-shirt anyway.

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