Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Less is more, same song different verse

This place is called Wolverine. I thought it was funny the first time I heard it from the guy who was building a house for us at the edge of a meadow. He took off two weeks to help his brother with a cabin "over near Wolverine." That wasn't the last time he took off, and I am sure glad we had a place to live, because what he built for us was a year or two late, and we had to get a few things finished up ourselves at the end.
So, in a funny way, when I finally drove through, Wolverine belonged to me. It was a gorgeous sunny, late summer/early autumn day. It is like a zillion other small towns, trying to make it.
In the Mark Twain biography I am reading, many of these small places are booming, Just after the civil war, just beginning to build opera houses, and auditoriums for the Lyceum lecture circuit. The GPS coordinates are the same, but the economic motor of these small towns has moved elsewhere. Leaving behind brick buildings, small warehouses and houses with tiny garages.

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