By Michael Martone, David Plowden
Essays describe lifestyles in small cities, farming groups, and suburbs in states from Ohio to North Dakota.
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Extra resources for A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest
And each booth and building was infected with the same giddiness that came from driving all the way to the state's capital, or the same titilation from viewing Chief, who, at 1,203 pounds, was committed to gaining another 132 pounds to become the world's largest pig. The fairgrounds woke from its hibernation at the center of a city with a million residents, people who, according to an immense Reader's Digest survey in 1958, preferred Westerns and quiz shows above all other television programs (thirteen of the twenty-five most popular).
My own hands had puffed with poison ivy, my eyes swollen shut. I knew about the danger of heat exhaustion and swallowed the nurse's salt pills when it reached ninety degrees. a horse who had fallen into the creek from the very bridge we were crossing into the stables. The year after my Pegasus award, my horse Sparky refused my Page 16 typical version of neck-reining after a morning in the corral. Later, when we had come to the center of a field, she sank to her knees and slowly rolled onto her side, pinning my leg in the stirrup.
His determination typically exhibited itself at critical moments, when fervor would be frustrated by the element at hand. To a child asked to assist, his tasks seemed Sisyphian, even though I didn't know that myth. We shoveled snow when the weatherman predicted six more hours of snow, we raked leaves when the trees were still laden with color, Page 14 we plucked dandelions when our neighbors' yards were gray with the seed-headed weeds. During the erratic years our sour-cherry tree chose to bear fruit, we knew it was time for dinner not by the smell of a baking cherry pie, but by the sound of my father's car turning into the driveway, honking at the tree of cherry-robbing starlings.
A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest by Michael Martone, David Plowden