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At The Feed Store

Winter                                                                 Moon of the Long Nights

Richie is a long time friend, from childhood…

“ALEXANDRIA — A couple of years before he retired from Delco Remy in 2006, Richard Howard bought the Alexandria Feed & Supply on Indiana 9.

On any given day, at any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., several cars may be parked outside the building, giving the deceptive impression that a vigorous trade in pig, horse and chicken feeds is taking place behind its doors.

But the fact is the store has been closed for about three years.

Instead, the building is used for daily informal meet-ups of retirees who come to solve world problems, trade dirty jokes and reminisce about old cowboy shows.

“It’s become an adult day care center,” Howard said. “We’re not pillars of the community, I don’t think.”

The feed store is one of several places, including the Circle K store in Summitville and the McDonald’s in Alexandria where seniors — most of them men — find companionship once they leave behind the workplace where for decades most of their social interaction took place. With few options for seniors throughout the county, these communities are making their own.

At the Alexandria feed store, where the table is spread with a junk food feast of party peanuts, chips and butterscotch pie, the regulars hang out seven days a week, even on holidays.

The tradition started, Howard said, when he still sold feed.

“A lot of the guys would come up here. We’d have coffee and doughnuts,” the Alexandria native said. “If I sell the building, I’d have to go back home. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

It’s the place where the regulars, like Stephen McPhearson and Frank Davis, come to keep up with local news, attracting the occasional visit from politicians looking to persuade them to swing votes their way.

“It gets pretty heated up here sometimes. We agree to disagree. It’s about half Republicans and half Democrats,” Howard said.

McPhearson is a 1996 retiree from Delco Remy.

“I can come in here and know everything that’s going on in Alex and everything going on in Frankton,” he said.”

Anderson Herald-Bulletin

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