Would it be wise to say I am not going to do 25 installments? Perhaps not. I like these bite-sized posts, and since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve kind of had a thing for “exploring the country” or something (says the girl who has never been west of O’Hare—yes, seriously).
As I mentioned, last week I visited Wisconsin for the very first time. Admittedly, I only got as far in as Kenosha, but it was still pretty much what I expected, and pretty much what Daphne Beal describes in her essay. She comes from a fairly prominent industrial family in Racine, and her story of Wisconsin is one of growing up in the southeast and vacationing in the northwest. Her family’s story is a good proxy for Wisconsin history, or at least Racine history, and Lake Owen in the northwest seems to be a sort of Wisconsin version of Saratoga Springs. Nice enough, but I wasn’t floored. That’s not to say anything against the state; I should note that people in Wisconsin seemed extremely nice even by Midwestern standards. A little scary, almost.
I was much more taken, though, with Susan Choi’s contribution on Indiana. For a non-New England state, I’ve spent comparatively a lot of time in Indiana. In college I dated someone from Muncie, northeast of Indianapolis, and went there several times, and when the consumption partner and I go away (as we are again this afternoon) it is to the Indiana Dunes in the northwest of the state. I kind of like Indiana a lot in a weird, totally counterintuitive way. Choi is returning to the state she grew up in to take a literary driving tour with her father, and her essay is a fascinating portrait of him and their relationship. He reminds
Continue reading State by State, installment the second