To end a really nice overnight visiting friends at Muskingum University (nee Muskingum College), I went to see "Three Foote One Acts," featuring Muskingum students and faculty. After seeing, "John Turner Davis," "The Old Beginning," and "The One-Armed Man," I wanted to learn more about Horton Foote and his writing.
Foote's biggest achievement was writing the screenplay adaptation of, "To Kill a Mockingbird," which won him an Academy Award in 1962. To his credit, he has written for television, Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off Broadway productions and for feature films (Wikipedia told me that). I guess the main reason I've never heard of Foote's work is my general disinterest in Southern culture.
Seeing these plays today has really shown me what little I know about the South, its culture or its implications on the history of the United States as a whole. I don't care about fresh dew on the scuppernong, mint juleps, or moonlight on the magnolias. I do, however, need to be more open to the notion that the South has provided more for this country than good old-fashioned racism and Blanche Devereaux.
Alabama aside (what a wretched, wretched state), The South has some lovely attributes...I'll bet. I went to Louisiana in college and the taxi-driver was nice enough to give me a beer on the way to the casino (hooray for open-container laws) and give me his phone number. I'll bet that's a slice of that "Southern Hospitality," I keep hearing about.
Foote has given me the opportunity to re-think The South as a vital and lush piece of Americana that was far beyond Lynyrd Skynyrd, searing heat and fried food. A piece that is worth a second-chance.
Well, it's got to be better than Pittsburgh during football season.