When I was young, we used to snake through a number of small south Georgia towns on our way to see my grandmother in Alabama. Leary was one of those little towns we'd pass through, but I don't recall ever knowing more about the little Calhoun County community other than what I saw through the car windows, but it was clear it was a small town that lived and died on the peanut crops that grew around it. Most of the edge of town was filled with warehouses and silos.
As time passed, we stopped going this way and more than a decade passed before I roamed through here again, this time with camera in hand and memories of a litany of small towns that I had passed through long ago.
Leary of today was a lot less prosperous than my memories of it, but standing on one of the main streets looking at the row of brick buildings... well, this is Small Town Americana in my mind. Parked outside what I suspect is the only bank for miles is an old pickup truck that I can picture an aging farmer driving while he'd gone to town.
June 6th, 2014
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