I like picturesque river towns. But too often when I visit one I find that the plaque of Tourism has ruined them. Fudge shoppes and so forth. So I was rather pleased to visit Lansing Iowa recently and find it largely undamaged. But as with all communities existing in a time warp, a little unusual.
Here we have an interesting business model. Auto parts and tanning. Makes sense in a way, most shade tree mechanics are guys and do their tinkering in the summer months. Most tanners are gals and would be better customers in the winter and spring. I guess the smell of coconut oil would not be so awfully discordant to the guy buying some 10W30 for an oil change. The orange sign on the left hand side of the building is for a chain saw manufacturer. Seems like the set up for a bad movie, The Iowa Tanning Salon Massacre.
Variety Stores were once common, now they are almost extinct. Or I suppose just superseded by places that call themselves Dollar Stores. (Pound Stores in the U.K.). But Lansing has this remarkable survivor. Actually there are two Horsfall's stores, the other is newer and up the street a bit. This place has become locally famous as being where you go to find, well, anything. We did not stop in, guys on a road trip do not do recreational shopping, but did snap a few pics through the windows.
The window glare makes it hard to see the dust. Trust me, it was there.
I am not making fun of at all. I delight in the improbable survival of such places. It brought back memories for my brother and I. When we were growing up there was a place in our neighborhood that looked exactly like this. It was called Tollefson's Variety. Same cluttered feel, same red brick. Mr. Tollefson was a wizened old guy who captured even our childhood imagination by siring no fewer than 14 children.
An odd survivor this store. Had we time we would have gone in just to check. I wonder who we would have seen standing behind the counter. Mr. Tollefson or Rod Sterling?