I visited Birdseye on a hot afternoon almost a decade ago and stopped on the main street. There was an old general store that had all of the original counters and furniture in it. Through the window I saw a dusty scene from forty or fifty years ago still intact! I asked several of the townsfolk I chanced to meet--including the family at the convenience store--if they knew the history of the old building and my northern accent must have seemed spooky to
these folks because they reverted to monosyllables and looked at their rustic shoeless feet.|
Not a friendly town but honest and rustic . Viva Birdseye!.
by Bob |
Comment by Mark: I had an almost exact experience in Birdseye. Wanting to know more about the old general store I met the same folks. Not all that inviting. Borderline hostile. A mouth-breather and his mother. The store itself looked like it had been left just exactly as it would have been on closing for the day many years ago.
Looking through the dusty windows at the scene I just wanted to get inside. There are other spooky things about Birdseye besides the current residents. Check out the ruined factories.
Comment by Frank Smith: The store you were looking into was Cricket's General Store and yes it was left in the past, even when she was open. ''Cricket'' I never knew her real name was old when I was young (I am 44 now) and she still lived and ran the store until her death in the late 90s.
She had an apartment above the store in which she lived in until her death. The most fond memory I have of the store is the candy case. Cricket was somewhat of a hoarder so maneuvering through the store was like walking a maze so getting to the candy in the counter became an adventure.
You couldn't reach into the counter because it was glass, so if you wanted something you had to go to the back of the counter where the doors were to get the candy. That meant you weaved your way through stacks of bolt cloth, old suits, and various kitchen appliances, all stacked from floor to ceiling with a path between them.
She had everything from OTC meds to ''Snake Oil'' remedies that only your grandmother would know how to use. As for the ''family'' you encountered at the convenience store, that was probably the Bordens and their family.
Please don't take their standoff-ness as a cue to who the people of this little town really are. This is a town full of kind-hearted, hard-working, ready-to-give-a-hand people that will go out of their way to help someone in need.
They are just humble farm and small town folk that do keep a wary eye on strangers poking around the town, but that doesn't mean they won't like you. I lived there (just outside of town) for all of my childhood and found out first hand how good these people are.
Our house had burned down just 5 days before Christmas when I was in 8th grade. Not only did just about the whole town show up to put the fire out and rescue our Christmas gifts from the flames, they showed up two months later to build a house in less than 24 hours (the outside walls with roof).
At that time we owned the truck stop on the west side of town now called Deb's truck stop and many of our customers donated their time and energy and sweat to complete our house by the end of February.
I hope this helped quell your negative opinion to one of the best little towns in southern Indiana.
Comment by Jen: I lived in Birdseye for about a year. And the townsfolk are really cautious. I met the guy who owns the building that you're talking about. You see I was walking my baby down the main drag that crosses the tracks in front of the old general store.
I just couldn't shake this feeling that someone was watching me. While I was making my second round with the stroller I looked up into the window of the apartment and I saw a man just staring intently and not moving.
I rushed home ASAP because I was so creeped out. I went back the next night, same window same man. I thought I saw a ghost. Thank goodness I wasn't alone on the street this time. I walked up to an elderly gentleman with a beard (he was standing across the street) and I said.
''Look, you're going to thing I'm crazy; but there's a man in that window watching me and it's starting to creep me out. '' he chuckled to himself. He said darlin', that isn't no man, it's a dummy.
There's four or five of 'em in this town, set up to look out the windows. I'll let the tenant know that it bothers you. The next day the dummy was in a different window. I agree Birdseye is a strange little town.
It has it's back roads and it's secrets. But that would sure deter a burglar if they thought someone was ''always watching''.
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