This is sadly true. I live in Arkansas. The southern US is a photographic vacuum.
The rural part of Pennsylvania where I live is also a photographic vacuum. Since messing with photography since the mid 70's, the only other person I have seen taking pictures besides my dad anywhere near where I live (say 20 mile radius) was my Grandmother with her Instamatic. There hasn't been a camera shop anywhere in our area since the late 1980's and that wasn't a very good one. Other than drugstore and Walmart type films (Kodacolor and Fujicolor) it has been mail-order for a looong time. (The employee store at Kodak was like a culture shock!)

DaveT: Where is that old iron works?