Post-apocalyptic fiction

There was talk of turning this into a gas station on a local Facebook page. People unloaded with stories about the history of that lot.

I get excited when I find something old or abandoned because it kicks my imagination into overdrive. You can roll through these little towns in the blink of an eye and dismiss all the ruins and remains, but there's always a story. Nine times out of ten, every cracked old lot or empty building has an ongoing argument over what to do with it, and it's because of stories.

The consensus in the case of this lot is people want more "third places" rather than more business. More money doesn't mean much without recreation and community. People don't mind tearing down the ruins, but they want to know the thing that replaces it is at least on a level with what they remember.

People have moved on from the structures and objects, but they've thought about the stories they built there and took with them. I explored the place where I grew up (not here) and found abandoned houses, 50 y/o newspapers, rusted cars, etc. a few feet into the woods. There was all this story in dead, abandoned places just out of sight of the modern, living world.

I enjoy finding the ruins and remains because it means I can dig into the story behind it. That's why I like post-apocalypse so much as a genre, and why my photo explorations often focus on old stuff.

Sometimes focusing too hard on the past gets people stuck, though. Fighting over the ruins of Winder's Granite Hotel took up so much time and money that people didn't pay attention to equally old, equally historic buildings crumbling around it that were easier to save. The money that went into the old hotel could have saved 2-3 buildings.

Winder did finally start finding investors as the Livable Centers Initiative combined with Winder's Vision 2020 thing to turn the rubble and ruins into something that's starting to look less like a dead town and more like a town with history.

For an example of the renewal: The Peskin building. You can see the old, crumbling version on Google Street View here. Here's a drone video someone made of the restored building, which now houses Latin Flavors Stakehouse.

The pandemic wiped a lot of businesses out, so it's looking a little bare again. The photographer and crumbly ruin lover in me would enjoy it as a subject of subjects, but I know it's not good for a community to collapse like this.