I live in a rural community and to me choosing Mo, Me and America written by Randy Turk and published by Dog Ear Publishing the most natural thing to do.
most beautiful America, this one, because the most hidden one but at the same time the most genuine one. Sure biggest American cities are dreaming, people can find excitement,
theaters, a lot of fun, a good work, but little realities...
laziest sometimes, people more united because they know each others.
Turk decided to start these four trips in 32 States of the USA in 15
months with Mo, his dawg as he loves to call her a beautiful
female golden retriever.
He took this decision when also the
latest ancestor of his family passed away and a big question tormented
him: who would have remembered the old rural world that it is
disappearing? Who would have told the past?
Yes because talking of
rural America we also talk of farms, people who, in the past worked
hardly for going on thanks to the works in mills or fields, and having
various animals as well.
This book is not just fascinating, but dreaming.
guess that it is the desire of everyone one day to pick up the car or
the caravan as the author did starting to traveling without a destination in the immense
territory of the USA. Sometimes I think just for breathing a sensation of
And it must be wonderful to stop by in some old-fashioned
characteristic cafes where strangers are always seen as a great novelty
and curiosity and accepted with enthusiasm.
Looking for people living in little places an amazing experience.
imagined, while I was reading the book those cafes, restaurants,where
Randy stopped by for sometimes a robust breakfast or lunch and where he
met people enthusiastic to be interviewed and extra-busy at the same
Interesting and fascinating interviews these ones of
Randy Turk with the various people he met along his trips although at first he sounded a bit
shy and intimidated by this experience.
In this sense Mo, the book is
written at four ahem hands/paws ;-) helped a lot, opening a breach in
everyone's heart and giving so to the author the possibility of starting
to talk to people after the preliminary doggy-breaking-ice-language: "Hi, it's a
wonderful day don't you think so?"
The final portrait of this trip?
confirm: most of the people interviewed, and it's not important if
they're from the Profound South or other part of the USA, tend to say that little places are wonderfully great. Good
weather, good people, social control so less drugs and violence in
comparison with bigger centers. Answers are similar.
Someone added that their centers
chosen by retired couple or simply by newcomers because of the
tranquility. People thinks that their centers changed once foreigners
arrived because although they declared they wanted to stay in peace then
they forced the little place at some unwanted changes.
In general past farms were, good Lord, very big, 200-300 acres, but these ones are immense with 3000-4000 acres each.
were places famous for the pony express and a man with his private
airplane every night brought the mails from a place to another for 8
pence a letter.
Some people complain that little centers are more
abandoned because children wants to go to college and later in general
they remain in biggest cities.
Other ones are rural communities close to the capital of the State so the perfect place where to live.
There is who thinks that young people
shouldn't go away, because of course, very useful and
joyful in and for a little community.
Someone have wonderful realities with schools in their villages or close to them, libraries, or theaters.
general in most of these places if in the 1950s there was a lot of
population, there has been a massive migration, so a drastic reduction but
people remained are in most cases great chaps and affectionate. There
are people who, after a while spent to a big city creating an existence
return to their little native places once retired.
Some people interviewed complain that yes, people are busiest and there is less
time for staying together, for being helped, a word, this one pronounced
substantially from everybody.
In a center a man added that they
helped a young girl with a fundraising for being operated and another
girl killed the night of Halloween always remembered every year the night
Someone else said that newcomers brought more violence and problems.
In general in the past there was a different work ethic, disappeared now.
can make the difference and what should induce someone to buying a
house in a rural place? Of course peace, of course a different
tranquility but also the expectations of finding good neighbors, and a
different quality of life.
I have had the perception most of the
people interviewed tried to let see all the best of their place and so:
sun, good weather, great people, many activities.
While I was
reading the book I thought at the book written by Fannie Flagg: A Redbird
Christmas. A man from Chicago in the profound South of the USA where he
fell in love for people, community, weather, friendship and love.
the end of the book, Randy Turk imagines his dad back to this world, after
100 years, a man who had known other kind of stores, (the old stores replaced by new ones), other kind of life, other... breakfasts, and another system of
work. Now it's a luxury to be a peasant or have a farm thanks to the help of every kind of machines. In the past
as also remembered by an elderly couple work was harder in the rural
After all Turk's dad thinks that it would be wonderful to live this adventure as well.
book lived in many diversified States of the USA for History and culture.
I strongly suggest this book to you if you want to pass some relaxing hours
dreaming of a long trip in caravan stopping by in suggestive tiny realities and lands
of the USA always able to speak
at the heart of the people.
It can be a very good gift for your children and for remembering them how in a few decades world changed abruptly. It can be a great gift for let them discover part of the USA that maybe they don't know.
Mo and Randy will conquer everyone!
Anna Maria Polidori