“I was a fighter when I was a little girl. I fought everyone and won too, even though I was smaller than most of them.” Dot Blackwell moved to Reidville when she was 6 years old. Reidville was lonely, she tells me, there were no kids in town. She moved away after she married the first time and two husbands and a new boyfriend later, she has no desire to move back. It was a good place to grow up and she likes to visit her family but she has moved on.
She is standing in front of her father Doc Lowe’s old service station. It was ‘the’ place to go for many years. Men used to like to come in and stand around her dad’s wood oven and catch up on gossip and wait for her mom and dad to fight. She got her temper from her mom.
Her children don’t have to worry about her she tells me. “I have my Berretta and I will use it too.” Her children make sure to call before stopping by.
When she was pregnant with her first child Chuck, she used to like to come down and take apples from her dad’s store and smell the gas fumes in these garages. But today the gas fumes are gone and the old store has been converted to a restaurant called the Family Dog.
Nancy Bishop opened her restaurant a year and a half ago. Cleaning up years of oil and grease was a lot of work but apparently she did a good job of converting it because the locals who come to see the new spot say it looks nothing like it did when Doc owned it. Although it is the only restaurant in Reidville, business is slow, but Nancy isn’t giving up yet.
About the author paige green
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.
My Brain On War… (And FREE Photo Shoot for those who match my donation to relief efforts in Ukraine)
When the World Feels Upside Down… Together We Can (plus: bonus photo of me in middle school)
Headshots for Women’s Rights