Friday, June 20, 2008

Sense of place contest

For Maggie's Sense of Place Contest, I'm offering a passage from Rick Bragg's The Prince of Frogtown, which you may see on the sidebar that I am reading with both eyes and ears. Her rules are thus:

Pick out a passage from your southern reading which depicts sense of place.
Either take a picture to match the passage or find one on the internet.
Paintings are also eligible.
Post quote and picture and Link it to Mister Linky by June 21 to qualify.
You don't have to be a participant in the Southern Reading Challenge to play.

From The Prince of Frogtown:

Beside the mill, a village took shape, a community of small, solid, decent houses, every one exactly the same. The streets were named just A Street, B Street, and so on, as if these plain people did not require anything else. There would be 136 houses in all, a town within the town. Made of cheap but sturdy weatherboard and roofed with wooden shingles... .

I took the photos locally. The first one is an upper view of the original factory. The second, another building nearby that was part of the operation. There were not 136 houses, but just a few along the street, across from the factory itself, and quite similar. They housed the workers, and were indeed, "small, solid, decent houses." The street was named after the factory.

As I may talk about when I review the book, I am always struck by similarities rather than differences between South and North (and probably East and West, as well) in Rick Bragg's stories.


  1. Having lived in both regions, North and South, for an appreciable time, I can attest to the correctness of your perception of similarities between the two. Especially in small-to-medium communities, where agrarian and manufacturing intersect.

    Eagerly awaiting your full review....

  2. I love Rick Bragg. I love the developing relationship with THE BOY. Sometimes his descriptions hurt my heart. You picked a beautiful quote and your pictures are perfect. My father would have been comfortable with Rick Bragg's family. Maybe that is why Rick is so special to me. I can't wait for your review either.

  3. Thia is great, Nan! My dad grew up in a factory town within our town. He was totally embarrassed b/c his house was the only one painted yellow! My dad was a tough poor kid and he had to tangle w/anyone who thought him yellar to go along with the house! :)

    He has a great story he tells about blowing up the neighbor's outhouse. Apparently, they refused to hook-up to the town sewage and after a while they became the stinky neighbors. All the houses being so close in setting, other residents complained. Well, at a recent funeral it came out that my grandmother actually blew it up and my father vouched for her so she wouldn't have to sit in the pokey! :D But, he helped!

  4. Hi, Nan. I had to check your profile to see if you are from West Virginia (my home state). These pictures could have been taken in many a town down there. I'm happy to see that you are also reading Rick Bragg's book. It will be interesting to see what each of us focuses on in our review.


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