Okay, maybe we didn't give the city of Belmont a fair shake on our last visit. And, I was really thinking that we needed to revisit T & M wholesalers just for a quick outing, so... I convinced Susan that a very mini trip was necessary. Besides, the greenery along the Natchez Trace is more lush and beautiful than I have ever seen-- it almost reaches out and grabs you as you pass by (and, I'm not talking about the kudzu, although I've never seen it healthier). We are so lucky to have this National Park in our area!
Oh, Belmont, poor Belmont...we tried...we really did. Remember the Belmont Hotel that we wrote about earlier? It is an old hotel (not many of these are still standing) built in the downtown area of Belmont. Well, we drove by the old Belmont Hotel and found it still for sale but, this time, it appears that the hotel is deserted. Guess the Pop Tart breakfast didn't go over too well with the clientele. It is a shame that someone can't make a go of a bed and breakfast in this downtown area.
T & M Tool Mart is located just south of Belmont on 25. It was as well-stocked as before, but, the rows and rows of Chinese-made catalog materials didn't get our attention or mean as much to us on this trip. (In fact, the Chinese-made stuff that we see in our travel reminds me of two very hurtful things: #1 Mississippi has lost jobs and #2 China now has more millionaires than ever.) We did see some of the cutest Ole Miss serving plates and tailgating supplies on row 1, but by row 8 the scenery had changed to tools....not really exciting to us. On one end of the building, right behind a row of all types of ribbon was a room filled with paper supplies. After handling and opening hundreds of journals, diaries and photo albums, we made our selections -- we even had to go get a shopping basket when four hands would no longer hold our finds -- checked out, and headed for the Sparks Restaurant for their blue plate special lunch.
The lunch at Sparks was as homemade and as tasty as their breakfast. For $8, you get a selection of meat and two vegetables, cornbread or rolls and a dessert. All home made. All seasoned and cooked like your grandmother did. The locals seem to like the fare, too.
Next stop -- Fulton.
In my lifetime, the two lane Highway 78 trip from Tupelo through many small communities to Fulton has changed to a four lane interstate jaunt through rolling hills and pastures. Exactly what tourists and travelers want -- beautiful scenery and fast speed limits. In my mind (and certainly those passing through) the city of Fulton seems to have disappeared. Not true...not true...so not true.