I am thoroughly enjoying Fannie Flagg's Standing in the Rainbow. The author was recommended to me by Geri Ibanez, the owner of Designs by G, where Summer Triangle rests for you to buy. I only had thought of reading Fried Green Tomatoes. I did not realize Fannie Flagg wrote so many books, nor that they are so enjoyable and clean.
I assumed like many modern authors she would have that dark Southern angst. But I am finding she is like Jan Karon of the Mitford series. It is almost like reading the Facebook group, "You know you're from West Middlesex, if..." with more flesh.
One time, I browsed through 1938 and 1939 Oracle's, the West Middlesex High School yearbooks at the one room school house museum outside of Mercer. The high school at that time sat proudly on Main Street, next to the Presbyterian Church and in some pictures the house I grew up in peeks in the background. I amazed that Main Street appeared unchanged thirty years later in the sixties. The seventies brought the urban renewal and destruction of old buildings, history. My uncle groused one time to me that Main Street wasn't beautiful, any more. I disagree, but it sure has changed.
So reading about Elmwood Springs, Missouri, brings me back to what I feel about West Middlesex. I caught the tail end of a wonderful time to grow up. We didn't have a radio show originate in someone's home, at least I don't remember one or hearing of one, but we definitely had the Neighbor Dorothy character (or two). Neighbor Dorothy out of her grief lands into a radio show broadcasted from her living room. Her mother-in-law, Mother Smith, plays the organ. Dorothy showcases talent, mostly local. She recites all her days goings on's. I thought as I kept reading, my goodness, she is blogging.
Blogger's post songs or videos in their daily offerings. Mother Smith plays tunes to go with the topic. We tell of our daily adventures, many times with children or relatives groaning that we mentioned "that!" Sometimes, we plug a product.
We hardly have any local radio programs any more in our area. WPIC chose a national format, with local only in the evenings. I find the Ron Erret show refreshing, but never get to listen to it with working afternoon turn. Yes, there are podcasts, but that is not the same as knowing a person is talking in a radio booth on Pine Hollow Boulevard just over the hill where I can see the antenna. Sometimes, Ron was running late and I imagined the Sharon traffic. Well, at least the train holding cars on one side of the tracks.
One night after the Sharon/Hickory football game where the fight broke out, I listened to WPIC until eleven as the callers gave their point of view of the fight. It was Facebook on the radio in real time.
I miss Tony C. and later Joe Biro in the morning. I miss hearing the ladies call in, trying to understand the changing world or giving their view of the Valley back when.
I envy Neighbor Dorothy, even though she is fiction, her ease with her listeners and the audience. I hope with words to connect to my readers. Look for the "red light" of engagement, as I post yet another musing.