Paul Hemphill’s last book was about cancer, the disease that took his life last week, and about the allure of all those Camels he smoked along the way. I’m not sure he finished it, but I’m eager to read his observations. Because Paul always had something piercing to say about his experience with life’s tough issues.
Hemphill’s work is a chronicle of many themes of Southern life in the late twentieth century: country music, race relations, automobile racing, baseball, troubles with booze. He reveled in the pleasures of his surroundings, but he never sugar-coated what he saw. “He told it like it is for people who are just scraping by,” said his former colleague at the Atlanta Journal Roy Blount, Jr. Those of us who moved away from the South rather than engage the difficulties that its social issues pose owe him a debt. Because Paul engaged them with tenacity.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
|<< <||> >>|