Monday, October 14, 2013

Sleeping at the Starlite Motel by Bailey White

I was glad to have Bailey White by my side this past weekend. It was a pleasure to dip in and out of her second book of stories about her home and her people in Southern Georgia and its environs. 

Sleeping at the Starlite Motel and Other Adventures on the Way Back Home (1995) finds Ms. White traveling one July to the north to escape the 'green-ness' of the South in summer when even the humid air is tinged with the color and "anything that doesn't move sprouts a blanket of moss." In another episode she explores a cave and ponders that a death underground would be "gray and damp." She gathers with family members in Virginia to reunite ten Chippendale chairs for her nouveau riche cousin Mandon who wants to purchase the entire lot. She visits a one-room school house in Vermont. She and a fellow teacher ditch a series of boring computer classes and take in the dog races instead. She attends a wedding and spends the entire reception sitting on the sidelines in an effort to hide the purple sandals she wore, "because I had suddenly decided my feet looked big and strange."

Oh, yes, Ms. White is still very funny and spot on with her descriptions and characterizations. And although I found this series of vignettes to be a bit more wistful and bittersweet than her stories in Mama Makes Up Her Mind (that I wrote about here), I still want her to be my BFF. 

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