A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest - download pdf or read online

By Michael Martone, David Plowden

ISBN-10: 0877452172

ISBN-13: 9780877452171

Essays describe existence in small cities, farming groups, and suburbs in states from Ohio to North Dakota.

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And if we hadn't registered, sent in a postcard with our names, or filled out an entry blank, we could always identify with the winners. They were people like us. An afternoon with the flu, and I watched contestants on "Supermarket Sweep" running down the aisle of a store just like our Big Bear, raking the tinned hams and cigarette cartons into their shopping carts just like the bear himself. I watched the women on "Queen for a Day" receive all the unaffordable things like Oneida silverware, and a new electric clothes dryer, and even a certificate from the Spiegel catalog.

Would husbands buy more Stroh's beer if the can was white instead of gold? If a corporation wanted to know the answers, people just like my family, living in Columbus, Ohio, could tell them. Our size, our age, ethnic and income distribution represented the nation as a wholewe were the All-American City. My first authentic glimpse of industry was our school visit to a commercial bakery. Downtown, the aroma of baking bread was as pronounced as the looming letters of "Wonder Bread" that rose, one glowing red word over the other, above the adjacent neighborhood.

It didn't matter if the product tucked inside was non-spotting dishwasher detergent, creamier hand cream, secretly disguised sanitary napkins, or country-fresh air freshenereach was special because it was improved, new, or advanced; unannounced, free, and miniature; and because you couldn't buy it at the store even if you wanted to! How had we been singled out to deserve these treats? And what could we do to get more? The samples had been sent to Page 23 us just for living where we lived, on Bolton Avenue, in Columbus, Ohio.

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A Place of sense: essays in search of the Midwest by Michael Martone, David Plowden


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