“The pilgrims wandered among the relics of the honky-tonk hero […] of the lovingly curated shrine to the solitary country star [George Jones]. Just as a Roman Catholic visitor to Italy might hop from Venice to Cortona to Padua to commune with the basilicas and bones of saints, the country music faithful could […] build a tourism itinerary around museums dedicated to Conway Twitty, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Barbara Mandrell, Ferlin Husky, Jim Reeves, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr.”

“‘He spoke the truth about the situation of the country in those days,’ said Mr. Monterrosa, a parking lot attendant. ‘The situation is the same or worse now.’”

“For years, […] beatification was delayed, his advocacy of social justice a source of discomfort in the conservative Vatican hierarchy […]. But Pope Francis, attuned to the region’s painful economic divisions, sped up the procedure this year.” “The beatification is the prelude to what is likely to be a defining period of Francis’ papacy, with trips to South America, Cuba, and the United States”

“He brewed white lightning till the sun went down/ Then he’d fill him a jug and he’d pass it around/ Mighty mighty pleasing pappy’s corn squezing/ Shhhhhhh “WHITE LIGHTNING”

[All quotes from the front section of the Sunday 24 May 2015 New York Times, except the final lyrics from George Jones’s 1959 No.1 hit “White Lightening.”]

Advertisements

Christian Sheppard blogs about all things strange, about wonder and horror in literature, film, and the culture at large. He is presently finishing an historical horror novel about chariot-racing, witchcraft and demonic possession in the dark ages of Byzantine Constantinople. He is also editing a non-fiction book "The Ancient Wisdom of Baseball," on baseball and religion, a philosophical "apologia" for raising his first child a Cubs fan. He teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago: http://www.saic.edu/profiles/faculty/christianmsheppard/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: