Margaret’s Grocery, Just Outside Vicksburg MS

I was going through some of our old photos last week (scanning them in with my new fabulous Canon scanner) when I found these three pics that Av and I took back in 2000 of Margaret’s Grocery.

Last month, Av and I went by William C. Rice’s Cross Garden in Prattville AL (posted here), so to continue the series of roadside folkart religion…..

The store was actually built by Margaret’s husband, the Reverend H.D. Dennis. One of the more prominent signs states that, “All is Welcome Jews and Gentiles Here at Margaret’s Gro and Mkt and Bible Class”. Av and I didn’t stop in that day to meet Rev. Dennis, but we did take these (admittedly not-so-great) pics. Next time we’re in Vicksburg, we’ll take more pics – I also understand that the Rev. has added more pink squares since we last visited, and that they did a good deal of work after Sept. 11.

Margaret's Grocery, 2001, Just Outside Vicksburg MS

Margaret’s Grocery

William C. Rice’s Cross Garden, Prattville AL

These are pics from William C. Rice’s cross garden in Prattville. (articles and features about the place can be found here and here)

Mr. Rice’s place has been featured in countless magazine articles, folk art books, etc. and I’ve wanted to see it for ages. Av and I love folk art. Religious folk art (even when it’s not our religion) is so great – I have a real respect for it.

Growing up in Cullman, I would go several times each year to Ave Maria Grotto just to marvel at Brother Zoettl’s incredible work. Av and I once went to Palestine Gardens (formerly called Palestinian Gardens) – a place in Lucedale, MS – to see the work of a Presbyterian minister who began to build representations of Israel out of concrete back in the 1950’s. Compared to the Grotto, PG is much more crudely constructed, but if you’re in that part of MS, it’s worth seeing once. BTW, we didn’t know to expect this when we visited, but our experience with the gentleman who lead us on a tour of the little park was that he did some hard-core ‘testifying’ (which to me is really okay, I am happy to hear how people got into their religion and how their life has changed).

Anyway, if you have the choice of Ave Maria Grotto or Palestine Gardens, definitely go to the Grotto as the work there – the details and such – is just amazing.

Here are pics of Mr. Rice’s cross garden. Mr. Rice died last year, but his family says they will keep things up the way they are now.

Religious Folk Art - William C. Rice Cross Garden 8 in Prattville AL

Religious Folk Art - William C. Rice Cross Garden 7 in Prattville AL

Religious Folk Art - William C. Rice Cross Garden 6 in Prattville AL

Religious Folk Art - William C. Rice Cross Garden 5 in Prattville AL

Religious Folk Art - William C. Rice Cross Garden 2 in Prattville AL