By Michael Martone, David Plowden
Essays describe existence in small cities, farming groups, and suburbs in states from Ohio to North Dakota.
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Additional resources for A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest
Downtown, the aroma of baking bread was as pronounced as the looming letters of "Wonder Bread" that rose, one glowing red word over the other, above the adjacent neighborhood. Most of the time we could see only the one word Page 22 "Wonder" revealed between the blockade of downtown silhouettes. " As far as I knew, Columbus produced bread and coffins, the slices that covered the cheese and tomatoes packed in my school lunch, and the tombs that Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi occupied every Saturday afternoon during a triple horror feature.
People who drive through have stories. They report mysterious breakdowns, extradimensional rest stops, and miraculous appearances of state troopers. In the whiteout of the passage through the flatness, dreaming can take over. The dull colors richen. The corn in the fields begins to sparkle like the cellophane corn on the set of the Wizard of Oz. And that movie, with its film noir depiction of the Midwest, suggests another way of capturing this place. I can still remember Danny Kaye introducing the movie on TV, telling the kids not to worry, that the black and white of Kansas was just the way they made the picture.
In Grenada, the primitive abutted the progressive, native heritage against modern heresy. The only harmony I could detect appeared to be the afternoon hour when no one worked. Although there were no dairy cows on the island to spark it, a vivid memory of mine featured the Ohio State Fair's particular combination of country craft and scientific advance: the butter sculptures inside Dairy Barn. Since the early nineteen-hundreds, one of three men has sculpted nearly half a ton of fresh butter into the shape of a cow.
A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest by Michael Martone, David Plowden
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