Why Rick Bragg Writes

Quoted from Where I Come From, by Rick Bragg:

“I write about home so I can be certain someone will. It is not much more complicated than that.” 

“Home is not a thing of position, or standing. My home is where the working people are, where you can still see a Torino ever now and then,  and people still use motor oil to kill the mange.  It is where the churches are small, and the houses, too. It is where people cheer for a college they have never seen, where propane tanks shine silver outside obile homes with redwood decks, where buttercups burst up out of red mud, encircled by an old tire. 

“These are not the people of influence who have their names carved into the concrete of banks and schools and churches, whose faces stare back from the society page. As I’ve said, maybe too many times, these are the descendants of people who could only get their names in the newspaper or the history books if they knocked some rich guy off his horse. 

“I do not, greatly, give a damn about writing about people who history will handle with great care, anyway, by birthright. 

“I will write about a one-armed man who used to sling a sling-blade out by the county jail, and a pulpwood truck driver who could swing a pine pole around like a baseball bat. 

“I will write about dead police chiefs who treated even the most raggedy old boy with a little respect, and old men who sip beer besides the pool tables in Brother’s Bar, and then go take some money off the college boys. 

“I will write about the wrongdoers, because sometimes doing right is just too damn hard, and the sorry drunks, and the women who love them anyway. I will write about mommas, not somebody’s Big Daddy. I will write about snuff, not caviar. 

“I will write and write as long as somebody, anybody, wants me to, till we reminded one more brokenhearted ol’ boy of his grandfather, or educate one more pampered Yankee on the people of the pines.” 

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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