The truck pulled up next to me. "Do you know that building?" the man asked.
"No," I said, "I just like taking pictures of old buildings."
He nodded his head and was quiet. I asked him what it used to be. "The back was the bank, and the front here was a store. It was the whole center of town." He paused a minute, then said, "It was built in 1913. It needs a lot of work. I've had it about fifteen years and it just keeps going down. I was in a car accident and I'm lucky to be alive." I said, "We all are, we all are," and he nodded in agreement. We chatted for another minute. I thanked him for telling me about it. He drove off, and I kept taking pictures.
Across the street, next to a well-kept house.
And down the street. Other than this there were a street or two of houses and trailers. Stillwell, Illinois. We drove on a gravel road to get to it. Ernie's not always thrilled with my routing.
The only living thing we saw, other than the woman who asked Ernie if he needed help as he was waiting in the car for me, and my friend that I chatted to, was this creature.