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newly sprouted spring leaves on a Sand Oak (Quercus geminata) at Big Lagoon State Park.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Tree Grows in Bellview

Pensacola is a town not known for its aesthetics or innovation, it's more practical, rather more LA'ish (Lower Alabama) in feeling and thought. Conservative, safe. So it's no surprise that over the last few years I've seen the growth of small retail stores around town, usually springing up in twos, competing pairs of Family Dollar and Dollar General, doublets sprinkled a mile or two apart. If you miss either you'll soon find two of them later.

More affluent neighborhoods have lobbied to keep them out, usually by citing the serious problem of attracting outside riffraff. Obviously, their frequency argues against that idea; neighborhoods where residents have limited mobility due to income and physical issues tend to congregate elsewhere and they have their own stores. For me, I find that while these dollar stores are not personable or original in design they're probably no worse than the strings of upscale big box stores people are eager to frequent (I rarely, if ever, frequent either.). In point of fact, I would be willing to bet a quarter that most malls can't boast the beauty or friendliness of the many live oaks like those found at this Dollar General in my neighborhood. The franchise seems to have a knack for it, in general, at least in my town. And that has to count for something.

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