Unger Store, State Highway 13, Unger, West Virginia, May 2011
Some times, as a photographer, I luck out: Unger's General Store closed down about four years ago, and I missed the opportunity to photograph this old country store, which had played such a crucial part of my teenaged years: I would often ride my old Team Raleigh ten-speed from my house outside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to rural Frederick County, Virginia. Sitting atop the ridgeline after a steep climb of many miles, Unger's store was just about the point when my bike bottle went dry. Though there was no air conditioning in the store, just dunking my hand into the pop cooler to grab a glass bottle of Coca-Cola immediately reinvigorated me. They made Coke with real sugar back then. Today, you have to find a place that carries Mexican Coca-Cola to experience Coke as it ought to taste.
My bicycle journeys took place some thirty years ago, but driving up Route 13 and finding the place still intact made it seem like yesterday.