The Palmer Feed Store was established 65 years ago at 912 West Church Street in Parramore. 0n March 28th of 2O11 an electrical fire gutted the building. Bill and Michelle Palmer were devastated but thanks to the support of friends, neighbors, church members and long time costumers, they rallied and brought the business back from the ashes.
Days before the grand opening, a one ton, six foot high cement chicken was painted bright red adding an unmistakable new landmark to the Parramore business. The kids who painted the huge chicken got covered in paint themselves. The chicken is just one example of the many folk art touches that now grace the store. The grand opening took place in the parking lot next to the business. A stage was set up and a gospel singer was performing when I arrived. My goal was to sketch that one ton chicken but it looked lonely all by itself in the corner of the lot. Chicken hen houses lined the back of the lot full of doves, ducks and chickens. I sat behind the stage near the hen houses and decided to sketch the line of people waiting for some barbeque. A small grill puffed out sweet smelling smoke as burgers and hot dogs were flipped. Members of The Rock Church helped keep the food rolling off the grill.
I bumped Brian OHalloran and his lovely wife and child in front of the food truck parked in front of the store. Brian suggested I sketch a view of the downtown skyline from across Lake Ivanhoe and I actually did that sketch last night. There is a perfectly placed park bench with a gorgeous view of downtown. People were breaking down the sound equipment as I finished my sketch. The grill was dumped over and the coals raked into a metal garbage can. A teen touched the still hot grill lid. He shouted out and the two adults with him laughed. He wasn't burned bad. In a matronly tone, one adult said, "So, what did you learn today?" "Not to touch anything that is hot." the teen responded, then he laughed.