A heavy metal barn cupola
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    An old picture-perfect barn & the 1940s truck it harbored

    Up ahead, a huge barn with gray weather-beaten boards loomed silently against the concrete gray sky. It was mid-morning, and the day itself was this side of raw, not harsh yet, but close to getting there.

    I was on a highway off I-75 in Fort Valley, GA, with my niece Sharon and an old friend Andrew, headed to Lane Southern Orchards to buy a bag of unshelled pecans, my favorite nuts. Andrew and I have known each other since I graduated from high school, and I went off to college and he, like so many other African American men, went into the Army.

    On this day, both he and Sharon accompanied me on my quest to find pecans. Lane was not my first choice; we were actually headed to a pecan shop farther away, one that I had found on the internet, until I saw several Lane signs on the interstate. So, I figured one pecan shop was just as good as another.


    An old truck, which appears to be a 1940s Ford, is spared the harsh weather in its shelter adjoining the barn.

    As I closed in on the barn, I saw an old truck tucked under an open-air enclosure on one side. I took note of both as I drove by without saying a word to my companions, but that barn and car were calling me to take their picture – they looked that good together.

    I kept going, though, along this country road bordered on both sides by pecan trees with stark black limbs against a placid sky, a church set far back from the highway and open land as far as the eye could see. “Are those peach trees?” Andrew asked, eyeing some leafless chest-high trees on one side of the highway. Yes, I answered; they looked like peach trees to me.

    I’ve seen peach trees growing in the spring when the leaves were green and the peaches were babies, but never without leaves. And since Lane apparently does a good business of selling peaches during the summer, I assumed that’s what they were. Sharon recalled driving down with her uncle Michael in the past to buy peaches.


    A full view of the old barn and the truck.

    This time of year was pecan season, and the only peaches I saw in Lane’s roadside market were in jars (or in cider, a small jar of which I bought – and found that it wasn’t as good warm as apple cider). The market also sold wine, Christmas decorations (75 percent off) and a host of other products.

    I got my five-pound bag of paper shell pecans (with thin shells), Andrew got a bag of tangerines, and Sharon tried the boiled peanuts, which she and a worker apparently agreed were not very tasty. A couple years ago, she and I had gone to a flea market near Macon and feasted on some delicious boiled peanuts, a Southern treat.

    I didn’t get a chance to photograph the barn and truck until a day or so later when I returned to Lane to get pecans for my mother and aunt. Alone, I knew I had to stop, and I did. I did not see any “No Trespassing” signs – plenty of which you can find on wooded property in parts of Georgia, likely to keep out hunters – so I figured the owners wouldn’t mind my taking pictures.

    Since the barn was not far from Lane and the pecan trees, I assumed that it was on property that belonged to the company.


    This corner of the barn partially hides the truck, which resembles a 1940s Ford.

    The front of the truck had no maker’s name but it looked to be a 1940s Dodge or Chevy – not that I know much about old trucks. Googling later, I found that it more resembled a 1940s Ford. The back was a trailer, and rust and dirt had marred the royal blue paint job. The passenger door had been left open, as if someone more curious than me had wanted to see inside (or maybe the owner had left it open).

    An opening on the side of the barn revealed wheels, tools and all sorts of other junk and stuff.

    The barn and truck were the gems, though. And here’s what my smartphone captured of the barn and my pecans.


    The old truck, which appeared to be a 1940s Ford, in its sheltered spot.



    A side view of the barn with an opening. Inside were wheels and other items.



    An up-close look at what appears to be a 1940s Ford truck.



    My bag of paper shell pecans from Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, GA.



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    1 Comment

    1. good story.

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