The Shadow Store

Somewhere north of Bishop, California, on I-395 (that’s East of the Sierra Nevadas) is The Shadow Store. Yes, its theme is shapes, cut out of wood and painted black, and designed to adorn your yard or home. The Shadow Store is filled with a multitude of shadows: rabbits, men hoeing, single flowers, dogs, women and men bent over, cats curled up in baskets. For a few miles in either direction before The Shadow Store, one can tell that the neighbors patronize this store all right. Like little billboards in yards leading up to the ultimate of purchasable umbras. I love the specificity of the store–picture the wreath-weaving neighbor, desperate to sell her wares in a local store. ‘Nope,’ The Shadow Store owner tells her, ‘only shadows here. But I’d be glad to buy a wreath pattern from you and make a few wreath-shadows and see if they sell.’ My favorite was the Amish horse and buggy shadow featured prominently in the yard (near the shadow rock and shadow chickens and chicks and rooster and weather vanes and flamingoes). One realizes, you don’t need yard ornaments at all!

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