Friday, April 15, 2011

Bring Back The New Deal. Please?

I'm reading Connecticut: A Guide To Its Roads, Lore, and People, the Federal Writers' Project guidebook produced as part of the WPA. For one thing, it's enormous. The copy I have measures about 7" x 10", and has 593 pages. I bet I couldn't even lift the one for California. But also, it's fabulous. The preface confirms my instinct that there's enough to this State to make spending a majority of my time writing about it worthwhile. It says, "Indeed, it would be a brave man who would sit down, alone or with company, and attempt a portrait of this State." (Women, I suppose and hope, need not be particularly brave to attempt it.) And it's full of the kind of trivia that makes me inordinately happy. A list of "Connecticut Firsts" includes this, from 1727: "First copper coins are minted by Samuel Higley, a blacksmith of Simsbury. Higley's coins were marked, 'I am a good copper. Value me as you will.'" The book is arranged as a series of tours, of cities and the roads between them. It occurs to me that if I were a "real" blogger, the gimmicky kind who people actually read, I'd do each of these tours, in order, comparing the Connecticut of today to that of 1938. I might do a few of them, just for amusement. Although gas is now considerably more expensive...

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