Friday, October 15, 2010
Many want to preserve Margaret's Grocery since it is such an integral part of Vicksburg's personality. But I just can't see how it can be saved. You can't repaint it. That would destroy the uniqueness of Rev. Dennis. He painted those signs and posts for his wife and to paint over them would be to paint over his very public profession of love for Miss Margaret. And it would not be the same.
The interior might could be saved since it is just as decorated as the exterior. But even that would not embrace the soul of Rev. Dennis and Miss Margaret. It would be hard to present the inner beauty without offering the outer beauty along with it.
The solution? I don't think there is one. I believe, however, that the store should be allowed to just fade into the past. It's the Reverend's handiwork that made it what it is and if anyone else is allowed to change that, then it is no longer the same. Economics will win out in the end, however.
I ride by the place about once a week. I stop and find new details each time I go. What a wonderful building. I am sad to see it in its present condition. But more than anything, I miss the presence of Rev. Dennis and his wife at the store. They were such a joy to be around.
I also enjoy taking people by the store, even in its current condition. I tell them the story about Rev. Dennis and Miss Margaret, about the Ark of the Covenant that resides there, about the walls adorned with ornaments in every nook and cranny. The artwork is fading away, but the love story is still shining bright.
Thank God for Rev. Dennis. He is a man who is not ashamed to publicly broadcast to the world the message he wanted to convey. And, although, he can no longer take care of his monument to Miss Margaret, his work will always have a big role in what makes Vicksburg one of the greatest towns along the Mississippi.
(The photos above were taken two weeks ago.)