Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Rural communities that prospered in the 1950s are now falling on hard times. The latest copy of the Texas Observer has an off-line story on Archer City, Texas, which is author Larry McMurtry's home town and the inspiration for his novel, The Last Picture Show. Ironically, the story of a deteriorating rural community set in 1951 referred a town that was in fact robust and healthy. Maybe it was just a metaphor for culture or people when McMurtry wrote it, but now the Observer reports that Archer City looks literally like the boarded-up, scantily populated ghost town McMurtry wrote into the national consciousness in 1966 (motion picture followed in 1971). Is Archer City now a metaphor for most rural townships?