I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Real America

Photo by D.C. Atty
Back in July, NPR's This American Life podcast did an episode called "Georgia Rambler" that I found fascinating. Here's a brief blurb about it: "In the 1970s a reporter named Charles Salter wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal called 'Georgia Rambler.' He'd get into his car, head out to some small town, and ask around until he found a story. This week, nine of us go to Georgia to try it out for ourselves, in small towns all over the state."

As the staff spread out through Georgia, they would enter a random establishment and ask the locals, "Who is the most interesting person in town?"

In Meriwether County, the answer turned out to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After doing some digging, a rumor surfaced about FDR buying moonshine during the Prohibition. The question wasn't answered during the podcast, but it made for an entertaining segment.

A number of other great stories about other, much less famous people, surfaced as well. In fact, I think I was more intrigued by those stories. There was one about a man who fought against the government buying his land for a lake project, but he eventually sold most of it and even though he saved his home, he ended up being surrounded by the lake.

I would love to travel around my own state to ask that very question in run down cafes, small gas stations and old general stores -- if any remain. In fact, every state should have its own rambler. I imagine this could work for local newspapers, but it might be better if a website or blog were started and each state had its own page, with the best stories being featured on the front page.

Down the road, the best of the best stories could be used in a book entitled something like, "The Real America: Intriguing Stories from the Nooks and Crannies of Every State." 

Even if I didn't write any of those stories, I would so buy that book.


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