Almsost six thousand hundred souls. Wikipedia says it's known as "the "Kaolin Capital of the World" due to its abundance of kaolin." It has a weekly newspaper that's been published since 1870.

I suppose it doesn’t matter where we start, but I do wonder why I started here. Because it’s every small town building in every small town?

Ah. This is why.

Faint as it is, we know.

What was going on in the world when that was fresh and new? Is there anyone left in town who marks their own life against the condition of something they’ve seen all their days?

The loss of one building exposes the lie of another.

Not really a lie; more of a genial ruse for the sake of all.

Remember, I snipped these long ago, and am seeing them now for the first time in months.

When I see something like this - a corner building of no distinction - I brace myself for what comes next. Because it’s usually this.

The sign says “Future Home of Paul F. Thiele Park.”

At passing, Mr. Thiele was the most revered leader in the kaolin industry. Mr. Thiele was born on August 5, 1914 in Appleton, Wisconsin. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Engineering, Mr. Thiele established the Thiele Kaolin Company. Since its founding in 1946, Thiele Kaolin has grown to be one of the world's largest kaolin mining and processing companies. Upon his passing, Mr. Thiele served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thiele Kaolin.


It’s a big operation on the edge of town. You get the sense that if it closes, it takes the town with it.

Interesting. Sometimes you realize that the oldest building wasn’t the first. The structure on the left probably dates from the 20s; we still see evidence of its predecessor.

How old are those shutters?

I, too, had a bad sunburn as a kid

The Pasttime:

Rode hard and put up wet, judging from the photos.


The theater one time was owned by one of my cousin’s uncle Willard Renfroe. My cousin related a story about when “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was playing. One night during the first show several boys left the emergency exit open and went home and got several chainsaws. During the second showing at a suspenseful time the boys started the saws and ran throughout the theater putting the patrons in a frenzy.

The Buckaroo Revival spared no town:


Someone had money and wanted everyone to know it:

The items on the pole might have confused the people who knew this sign when it was fresh.

What the palimpsest says now, I can’t tell. Aside from SHOPPE.

Finally, I have only one thing to say: