|Image courtesy of Statesville Historical Collection|
The photographer stood in South Center Street and pointed his camera at the stately Sharpe House. The windows and doors of the house are open wide to catch the breeze. On the portico and balcony are chairs, rockers and small tables inviting all to sit, relax and maybe pass the time with an elderly gentleman enjoying the fine day. Seated in a rocker, the colonel's long white beard stands out in sharp contrast to his dark suit and dapper bowler hat. His long career or public service was largely at an end, but the residents of his town still looked to him for an opinion on what was good for the community. Little more than a year later, he would die of a massive stroke.
. . . 2010
Steve Hill kindly sent me a scanned image from his collection of historic images this week. Like a kid at Christmas, I devoured every detail of the 1902 image to glean details from that snapshot in time. I was struck by the number of chairs and tables on the porch and reminded that in our modern air-conditioned South, we have lost the fine art of sitting on front porches just to pass the time with friends and neighbors or watch the world go by. I hope we can remedy that soon.