Ghosts of establishments passed a haunting reminder of what once was

It’s like asking me what a sip of Billy Beer tastes like. Children born of this date forward might only know of Ho Hos and Ding Dongs from the older people’s recollections and pop references to the 20th Century and a few years after.
Hostess’ recent move to file for bankruptcy is another case of it’s nothing new to see corporate giants fall in a lifetime.
It’s great to stumble on a Piccadilly Restaurant while roaming the southeastern states, but that find can’t compete with the experience of standing in line at Morrison’s Cafeteria. Speaking of mall food that’s no more, even the internet doesn’t have much to say about Corn Dog 7 because it’s another faltered franchise we’ve moved past.
If you’ve ever seen the movie, “Zombieland,” you’d think a bleak world would be even more bleak after seeing the online obituaries in comic strips of Twinkies. Living a nomadic life while fighting the living dead, the search for that creamy packaged snack was one of the few things keeping Woody Harrelson’s character motivated.
On the upside of those satirically sad images of Twinkie the Kid with R.I.P. above his cowboy hat, a bankruptcy judge cleared the way for Hostess to sell such iconic brands as Wonder Bread and Nature’s Pride.
According to Bloomberg business news, the company that owns Pabst Brewing Company is considering purchasing Twinkies to keep one of America’s favorite snacks from extinction.
In some way, there will always be those still paying attention to the ghosts of businesses past like McRae’s, Camelot Records and Blockbuster. In another way, none of that is really important compared to the studies of dinosaurs that used to roam the earth.
The paleontologists and geologists can throw out their hypotheses for decades on what killed them off within scientific circles like the general public can speculate about why something right up the road is gone.
There’s a list of places you may frequent or support throughout the county that have already closed their doors or will be within the next few weeks.
When closures hit that close to home, it’s a more personalized punch in the stomach. When you did the big box Black Friday thing and came back home to the Small Business Saturday sales, you saw the difference. You saw the faces you know from church, the grocery store line and your childhood hard at work.
There are people hard at work at the top of the corporate ladders, but there are a lot of people working harder to build their institutions from the ground up too. It’s taken a long time and a whole lot of support from the community to build up something as good as the County Home, but that chapter, too, is coming to an end.
Children born from this date forward will probably never study about county homes in a Mississippi history class, but that block-style house off of Highway 8 East has taught us a lesson in kindness throughout the decades.
Plenty more opportunities of giving are still out there for the church groups and civic clubs. Fighting hunger and providing for less fortunate children are battles that will wage for years to come, but it looks like putting a smile on an older person’s face with nowhere else to go but there is a thing of the past.
History books can only be so many pages long so old newspaper clippings and stories about how things used to be have to fill the gaps in everything else left to learn.
<b>Ray Van Dusen</b> is the news editor at the Monroe Journal. He can be reached at

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at