It's in Lower Central Michigan. Five thousand, two hundred souls. Sometimes cities have mottos; this city's website not only doesn't have on, its community news page hasn't been updated since 2007. So perhaps the town was wiped off the map by a plague, and they repopulated it before the Google Cars came through to keep the cover story alive.

Good luck figuring this one out. The steps go up to a back door that is higher than the other back door. The windows are raised high on the first floor, and they are tiny and intentional. The basement windows have been blinded.

I like the old Diet Rite Cola sign, because it reminded me how happy I am now that no one ever offers you a Diet Rite Cola. It's still around, but I don't know anyone who bothers. It's made by RC Cola, and you'd think they'd capitalize on the brand's greater awareness, but perhaps there just isn't any.

Yes, RC has fans, but you have to admit it doesn't have the marketing heft of the Big Two.

Nice job, considering. Interesting windows. An excess of sidewalk suggests one of those let's-save-Main-Street efforts, using the usual tools: trees and bricks.

A ghost on the side: DRY GOODS. CLOTHES.

And flags! You always see flags outside of small-town antique stores.

Three siblings who grew up to be as different as possible:

The building on the right had a big window taken out, obviously, but what did they do to the cornice? Was something lost in a storm, and they hired a local to redo the top? Erg. The building in the middle is wearing a mask that shows its ornate hairdo; the one on the right is the eccentric sister who has too many cats and bumperstickers but everyone loves her anyway. Even though she is so opinionated.

Jeezum Crow, don't do this. Don't.

Brickify the ground floor, plaster the middle but leave the details poking out - it's just embarassing.

The Nion Block?


I'm thinking UNION BLOCK.

To this day the architect probably insists he was doing what the client wanted, and saved what he could.

He saw his kid playing with one of those puzzles where you slide the squares around to make the numbers consecutive, and thought Ah Ha.

I'll bet the house wine is Amontillado:

Can you guess what they sold here?

Farm implements. We know this because of the name:

He was an implement dealer, but also the Superintendent of Utilities.

His name was Charles. I don't know what his son's name was. Hope he didn't have two, and one disgraced the Hunt Name. Banishments like that can be long-lasting, and even if forgotten, the absence still stands as a stone rebuke from the second story of an old building in a small town in south-central Michigan.