One of the things I’ve missed the most since ‘Stay At Home’ orders have settled into our psyche has been my delight of meeting strangers.
Last week, I stopped at a little country store in Snowflake, Virginia to grab a Dr. Enuf. That’s a drink I’m notably devoted to and this place looked just like the kind of market that would most definitely have this sparkling soft drink in a cooler.

The Mountain View Market is on the Nickelsville almost dead-center between Gate City and Nickelsville, Virginia. This two-lane country highway is probably the only gas station and country market on either side of these two Southwest Virginia towns.

It’s one of those country stores you could probably find just about anything. Food, farm implements, nightcrawlers, snacks, auto, and hardware – I’m sure there’s a lot more I missed too. The aisles were filled, and I certainly need to come back and explore a little more.

Nevertheless, we were on a timeline, and I found the Diet Dr. Enuf and made my way to the counter. There were a few locals inside as the COVID CDC customer limits mentioned on the door. As I looked to my right, there was a man who seemed to either meet here regularly or own the place. I asked him which one it was, and he told me that he owned the market.

Jimmy McConnell looks to be a grandfather, and he said he took over the store from his father. He mentioned that the young lady to my left was taking it to the next generation. I didn’t catch her name, but she looked to be in her twenties, and she’s certainly got a great vision for the future if the Instagram feed is any indication.

The Mountain View Market opened its doors in 1964. Some 56 years later, it still welcomes a lot of business, pumps a lot of gas, and probably the best place to get a bite to eat along this stretch of highway for several country miles. Jimmy will probably be long remembered for plenty of those old stories too. Perhaps that’s the very reason I felt like it would be a good time to ask for his photo. I love meeting a good storyteller – even if for a moment.

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