Friday, May 04, 2012

McClaine Meats of Advance, Ind.


Meet Mr. and Mrs. McClaine, owners of McClaine Meats, a country grocery store I visited in the spring of 1973.

advstore5The store was at 104 S. Main Street, which is also Ind. 75. Advance is in Boone County a few miles north of I-74. The store isn’t there anymore and I can’t remember the McClaines’ first names, but it was the heart of the tiny Advance community (population estimated at 563 in 2003).

If you wanted bologna, Mr. McClaine would slice it for you on a big wooden chopping block that is almost certainly against today’s health codes. Never mind that nobody ever got sick because of it. We have to have regulations, you know.

Notice the gorgeous tin ceiling and the wood floor. The place was a 21st century health inspector’s nightmare, but it didn’t matter back then. It shouldn’t matter today, either.

advstore4They also didn’t make a big deal about customers wearing shoes, as this photo illustrates. (That’s my Gossen Super Pilot light meter and reporter’s notebook on the counter in the lower left corner of the photo. Just for the record, the photos were shot with a Pentax with a 28mm lens on Tri-X film. Available light, of course.)

I drove past the building last Sunday on my way home from Thorntown, Ind. and looked in vain for any trace of the former grocery store.

The McClaines were good Hoosier people and their store was a joy to visit. I’m still charmed by the photos and glad they weren’t lost in my hard drive crash.

You can see the photos larger if you click on them.

1 comment:

rich said...

Your photos remind me of my recent visit to Jasper Indiana. There's a hardware store, on the SE corner of the town square that has the very same look.