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Where I Come from: Stories from the Deep South

Rick Bragg

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I guess nostalgia is our sanctuary in sorry times.”

“Yet how lovely, to think that a person can live forever as long as one last bird sings in the dying light of one more day.”

“One day a year - this month – we celebrate [mothers], and if we're lucky enough to have them with us on this earth, we send flowers and take them to the buffet at Western Sizzlin'. The other 364 days, we worry that they'll trip over the dog. It is what the children talk about when we gather in secret to share our misery. "Momma just won't do right,” someone will sigh. "Well, she's just headstrong, the dear,” omeone else will reply. “Are you talkin' about me?” a momma will shout from across the house. They can't hear a lick when you ask them about blood sugar, but whisper something about them, and suddenly they have bat ears.”

“I do not need a statue or a flag to know that I am Southern. I can taste it in the food, feel it in my heart, and hear it in the language of my kin.”

“Dodging potholes so old and deep that the devil must use them as a shortcut home...”

“Tupperware is the Wedgewood of the South.”

“Oh, I would have seen it all, eventually, but it needed to happen to a boy; the world loses much of its wonder about the time you pay your first water bill.”

“Mostly I love Halloween because it is the orange-and-black beginning of a season that tumbles into Thanksgiving, which tumbles into Christmas. And Zombies just seem a little out of place in that. Thanksgiving should have nothing to do with armies of shuffling undead. Don’t get me started on Christmas. The only undead at Christmas should be Jacob Marley, wailing about greed. The iconic image of Halloween should be the pun’kin. The pun’kin, carved into faces that are scary only because we want them to be, winking from every porch. The pun’kin cast in plastic, swinging from the hands of knee-high princesses, leering back from department store shelves, until it gives way to tins of butter cookies. But I fear for the pun’kin. How long before before he is kicked down the street by zombie hordes, booted into obscurity? Young people tell me that no one—no one— wants to dress up like a pun’kin any more. All a pun’kin does they say is sit there, and glow. This may be true, all of it, but try to make a pie out of a zombie, and see where that gets you. Though I hear that, when it comes to pies, your canned zombie is the way to go.”

“I did not grow up gentle, or much enlightened. I grew up in an everyday racism; the Confederate flag license plates that rode on the front bumpers of our pickups hurt others like a thumb in the eye. It took me a while to get it, but it came to me, even as a boy. I do not need a statue or flag to know that I am Southern. I taste it in the food, feel it in my heart, and hear it in the language of my kin. It may be that I only remember this through the eyes of a boy, but I believe I heard the best of who we are in those sermons in that little bitty church.”

“He liked the cemetery. He told me once that it was where a man his age had to go to talk to anybody who could appreciate him.”

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Book Keywords:

humorous, nostalgia, tupperware, humor, holidays

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