Originally Posted Sunday, November 25, 2013
"The folk singer Woody Guthrie was prone to hyperbole. Whatever caught his attention, even briefly, became in his rendering the biggest, the best, the most, the greatest. His lyrics suggested a constant state of wonder, as if he saw every public utility project, rapid-churned river, dive bar or struggling worker through the eyes of a voracious, world-hungry child" (source).That spirit is very well known to me. It was the attitude of a generation. Not mine, but my parents'. You read it in Kerouac and Ginsberg, too, who got it from Walt Whitman. It was O.K. to mythologize. It was more than that. It made life more than tolerable. Somewhere there was a place with the world's best apple pie. In the forests of the northwest, there were men like Paul Bunyan. There was a fishing hole with the world's largest bass, an orchard with the world's sweetest pears. Etc.
This little travel article by Freda Moon really got me today. She wrote the heck out of it. If you've been to some of the places she mentions, you know you have to be a good writer of some mythic proportions to see what she sees. You can't be easily bored.
But I traveled across the country on my own many, many years ago, and it was like that still. Regionalism still existed, and crossing state lines was like going to another country. The way people sounded changed. The language changed. The food you ate and the beers you could get all became new. And I. . . I was a "world-hungry child." I would be so again.
I saw this Mobil logo on a gas pump yesterday. Are they on all of them? I don't know. But it caught my eye. iPhone Hipstamatic. They've really done a nice job with this app. I used the iPhone camera in a restaurant last night to read the bill I couldn't see because I never take my glasses. How freaking clever, eh? I will invent an app for this and make a fortune. I need to after reading the bill. I've decided to eat before I go out for the rest of the year. Or. . . I will eat in those cheap working class diners that Guthrie so loved where you could get the world's best cup of chili for a nickel. They are around, I think, but not on the boulevard. Hmm. Perhaps I need to spend some time just driving around my own home state looking at things, mythologizing. I might just be the man to do it, too.