Before GPS

Years ago I was invited to my Aunt Jane’s ninetieth birthday. The celebration was taking place in her hometown which I had not visited in many years. When I asked a relative for directions to the venue I received something like this:

“Before you get to Lawrenceburg turn left. There used to be a REA building there. Go a little ways and turn again where the movie used to be. The building will be on your left. It is not very big.” 

Another time when lost in Tennessee I stopped to ask a friendly looking farmer for directions and I was told to “Turn right where the big green barn used to be.” 


“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.” William Gibson


Graphic & Photo by Pixabay

4 thoughts on “Before GPS

  1. Oh, how I can relate! Even today when someone says they are going to Sunfish, Dad’s hometown, or Peonia, Mom’s, the first thing out of someone’s mouth is an old gas station, grocery, cemetery, or church. Many of these “landmarks” are still standing, and despite interstate highways which have shortened the trip, the identifiable markers of our memories are always the same, not diminished by time or new generations now living in the areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My friends and I ( both those who have been here a long time and those who have recently moved here) often discuss how we give directions in Louisville based on where things used to be — like the old Sears Store or where K Mart ( or other places) used to be. Most of the time I have used a place that is no longer there.

    This article also reminds me of when we travel to Bella Vista, Arkansas which we have done several times. When we ask directions from our timeshare, we almost always first hear, from the Dairy Queen, go….”. It always gives us a laugh because in our minds, everyone must start from the Dairy Queen. I can picture everyone driving to Dairy Queen and starting from there. Dairy Queen must do a great business.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Before the days of the GPS, landmarks were the best set of directions that I gave, and the best that I followed! When I read your blog today, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of it:). Thanks for the memories, Sue 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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