IN THE MANY COMMUNITIES I tour, I always seek the everyday scenes, the snapshot details that comprise a place. I may find the snapshot in an alley. Along a side street. In the heart of a downtown.
Wherever, I look, I see clues that reveal a town’s personality.
In business signs, I can spot humor and/or creativity.
In conditions of buildings, I can identify pride or lack thereof. Or perhaps it’s simply a lack of funds to upkeep a structure. Or the desire to keep things simple.
Albert Lea provided plenty of snapshot details. I see a southeastern Minnesota community that appreciates its past through preservation of historic buildings. I see a town that’s working hard to save itself.
I see positivity and care in messages.
I see the mix of small town Main Street and chain businesses along Interstate 35 meeting travelers’ needs. A duo personality town.
Agriculturally-born. Yet evolving into something else.
Every part, every building, every sign, every person, every scene snapshots into a single album—Albert Lea.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling