Friday, June 29, 2012

Can You Go Home Again?

By the time this posts, I'll be on the road, driving toward a remote corner of Northwest Alabama, to the small town where I was born and grew up. Where my parents were born. Where my grandparents were born. Where, yes, my great-grandparents were born. (My great-greats came from a couple of counties over.) The roots go deep.

I haven't been back in several years but my mom, 86, wants to revisit the place, check in on her 84-year-old baby brother, that kind of thing. Put flowers on my dad's grave.

So off we go.

Did I mention this is a small town? My graduating class of 74 was largest in school history--the class before mine had 45, the one behind had 39.

And tonight, I'll be speaking about urban fantasy and undead pirates at the tiny city library. I spent many, many hours there reading books I had no business looking at when I was younger and, later, scouring the shelves trying to find something I hadn't already read.

I don't know who'll come. Maybe classmates I haven't seen in 30 years, with whom I'll have to play the embarrassing "no, I don't recognize you, sorry" game. Maybe folks who knew my parents (which will involve playing the same game).

I'm thinking I won't read the first paragraph of Royal Street, where the words "fruit-flavored condoms" appears.

Can you go home again? I'll let you know.

7 comments:

Suzanne Johnson said...

Well, that should have been "library" but I don't have editing privileges!

JoAnn said...

haha! Suzanne, I totally thought it was a hip new concept: Library/bar!

Bon voyage on your journey -- I know it will be inspiring.

Carla Swafford said...

Suzanne, I corrected it for you. You're also set up as ADMIN. I hadn't realized people couldn't edit their own work. One of the drawbacks of being the owner.

I enjoy going back to places I remember from childhood though several no longer exist. The ones that do are smaller than I remember. :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

Good call on not reading the paragraph with "fruit-flavored condoms" in it! Can't wait to hear about your trip, Suzanne!

Being an Air Force brat I grew up in many places. The one my brothers and I miss the most and would love to revisit is Kelsale, a little village in Suffolk, England. I met someone online who lives there now and he was kind enough to send me photos of the village and the house we lived in there. All three of us looked at the photos of the house and said "It seems smaller now." Perspective is everything, isn't it Carla!

Lexi said...

Suzanne, there were 56 in my high school class, so I am right there with you. The town I grew up in has pretty much dried up and blown away. It makes me sad to go back there. As for my books, I'm sure I'm a scandal! I think you are wise not to start the evening off at the library with the condom paragraph. Hee hee.

Chris Bailey said...

I love a good ol' cemetery stroll. And I'll bet your former classmates and neighbors will be awed by your publishing success. Of course, they'll want to know where in the world you got your ideas. Whether it feels like going home--well, that probably depends most on how far away you live now, philosophically speaking. Take lots of notes, and do tell all about it when you get back.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. It was a fun--and totally bizarre--experience. Everyone was so sweet. There was a sign in front of city hall. The mayor was there. Seriously. I wouldn't kid about such a thing.

And it's a dry county. I needed wine.