South State Street, Lewis, IN
I don’t know why I was so unsettled; the end was inevitable. But still, there is something deep within us always surprised by change. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Coasting down the slight grade on South State Street one September afternoon in 2015, I was moved to stop and take a picture. The bricks and mortar constituting the structure have stood for more or less 100 years. Thanks to a long-since changed demographic and the vicissitudes of time, the building was condemnable, making a last stand in what was once Lewis, Indiana’s business district. With roof missing, walls shifted and cracked, windows shuttered by plywood long turned grey, she spoke softly with the sadness of an unvisited grandmother.
Earlier this fall while on my way home from somewhere I took a detour through the increasingly unfamiliar streets of Lewis. My grandparents, Helen and Titus, lived on the corner of E. Green Drive and S. State Street. During childhood, my summer job was to patrol these streets on a bike. Hundreds of hours…hundreds of miles. The regular patrols have ceased, time has not.
Countless times I had ridden by this building, rarely ever giving her a moment of consideration. On this beautiful 2016 fall afternoon, she's gone. I reflect upon my childhood joy and peace. In this moment I pause...I listen and take a simple picture.