Unlike letter writing, there never has been, and there never could be, an anthology of the best of postcard writing, because when people collect postcards, it’s usually for reasons other than their literary qualities. If there was such a book, I’m sure it would contain hundreds of anonymous masterpieces of this minimalist art, since unlike letters, cards require a verbal concision that can rise to high level of eloquence: brief and heart-breaking glimpses into someone’s existence, in addition to countless amusing and well-told anecdotes.
I’ve long gotten over bickering about factual errors in historical movies, yet Public Enemies just got on my nerves. The IMDB issues page should shed some light if you’ve never seen the movie. Oddly it wasn’t that the movie has Pretty Boy Floyd die before Dillinger (the movie uses Melvin Purvis shotting Floyd as basis for him leading the hunt for Dillinger), rather it was that the Yankees played the Cubs in July.
Even the entertainment could be traumatic in No Man’s Land. People would gather at makeshift rodeo stands near Boise City, OK on Saturday afternoons to watch the cow dip. Cattle were herded into a chute and down into a vat of water.
If you don’t live in Oklahoma (or more generally the Southeastern US) you’ve probably never heard of noodling. Even if you do know spend some time reading Spencer Hall’s noodling experience.
Hint: The Animal Planet show on the subject is called “Hillybilly Hand Fishin’”.
Lovely New York Times profile of Bruce Springsteen and Joe DePugh, the inspiration for the “big baseball player” in “Glory Days.“
The Times also has a profile of Clarence “Big Man” Clemons and his time as an offensive lineman at Maryland State University.