Growing up, the State Farmers' Market on Bluff Road was a place we certainly knew about, but visited very seldom. We seemed to get there only the fall, primarily in pecan season, and in my memories from the 1960s, the place already seemed to belong to another, earlier era.
With its seeming miles of sheds, noisy ancient looking refrigeration equipment, and ramshackle storefronts that could have been tropic river trading posts in any old movie, it almost justified Al Stewart's later lyric:
On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre Contemplating a crime..
Of course, we weren't contemplating a crime, but I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see a black and white Sidney Greenstreet around any corner.
Later, of course, as with many childhood memories, I found that you can't go home again, and when I visited the place a few times in the 80s, it simply seemed run-down.
The day I took these pictures, 28 August 2009, was the first time I had been there in probably 20 years, and it still had not changed much, although by that point, the fate of the place had been sealed, with USC to get the property and the new market location out on the Charleston Highway already under construction.
I did drive out to the new place recently, and I'm afraid to report that while it looks nice enough, it doesn't have any romance at all that I can see. Hopefully it does to *today's* six year olds.