Today’s contestant is Matthew Savoca, who’s story “Everybody Painted the Barn that Day,” in Kathryn Regina’s brilliant childhood photo project at Wunderkammer, struck me as the closest thing to Mark Twain I’ve ever read on the Internet, as much for the voice as for the quaint story. Hoping that you’ll still follow the link to Wunderkammer in order to see the picture that Savoca is responding to, I have pasted the story here:
Everybody painted the barn that day. There was Ma, Paw, Timmy, and Mr. Walsh. We’d been planning to paint it for three or four weeks starting in the beginning of April but didn’t actually get started until early May which really messed up my plans because I had decided sometime in February that I was going to leave as soon as Winter broke. I was five years old. Paw couldn’t understand why I was so enthusiastic about getting the painting started, which was because I had decided I’d stay and help so as not to upset Ma. Eventually we did it, over two days – Saturday and Sunday. The picture was taken on Saturday that’s why it doesn’t look like much has been done. I got paint all over my overalls when one of the cans spilled off the ladder Paw was on. It even got in my hair and we spent all night washing and scrubbing it out. Then my overalls were all messed up and Ma got to working on mending an old pair of mine that she’d been meaning to fix up for a long time, so I had to wait even longer before leaving. One thing led right on to another thing happening and I never did run away that summer.
Not much to explain there, Mr. Savoca, but I do want to know: did you run away when you were a boy, and if so, for how long? Matthew Savoca: EXPLAIN YOURSELF! (applause).
(For last week’s edition featuring Peter Berghoef, who lost, click here.)
kathryn regina is curating the next two weeks at wunderkammer. she will be posting pieces from a project she supervised, where a group of writers submitted a childhood picture, then another writer wrote about that picture.
October 9th, 2009 / 3:20 pm