Tuesday, December 2, 2008

i prefer the shotgun

When writing, I like to choose a living space native to my characters--a given. One of those unique little places is a shotgun house. When I was growing up, about a block and a half from my great grandmother were these prominent, tiny, narrow houses. They were so closed together yet had so much space in the back. They remind me of what slave cabins must have looked like, the black & white photo of cabins. I like them because they can make up an entire neighborhood. I chose to include them in my stories because there are barely any left in the area where I grew up. The ones mentioned were recently torn down, as recent as 2001. Shotgun houses are a bad truth, but beautiful part of American history--a bit like wagons, and, to me, they preserve time periods. I hope to take some photos of a few my Auntie told me are left in my town---on the Southside. There's so much oil drilling here now (Texas sits atop the Barnett Shale--natural gas). Old monuments, like these, are coming down fast and it's so sad to see their beauty history and character destroyed. Some are so old that they are dangerously lopsided. Others have been refurbished, mainly in Louisana. The ones that were torn down close to my gr. grand's house were rebuilt in the same place, but constructed slightly bigger, more modern. Not the same. What does a shotgun look like?

I found these beauties on the internet.
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Blogging this (while at work), I was reminded of Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party and the "ugly chocolate houses"---surely her reference was to shotguns.

Thanks google image photographers.

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