Passing Gas: And Other Towns along the American Highwayby Gary Gladstone
“Explaining how to find her café in Gas, Kansas, Bonnie Steward said, ‘Come down Route 12, but if you blink, you'll pass Gas.'” Gas isn't all you'll be passing if you come along for the ride with author Gary Gladstone on a cross-country road trip across the U.S.A. With camera in hand and the penchant for the unexpected, Gladstone captures a photographic portrait of small towns with unusual names and the folks who keep them on the map with their (admittedly offbeat) civic pride. You'll meet bar buddies Don, Ron, and Flakey Jake from Goofy Ridge, Illinois; stop in at the mechanics shop in Nothing, Arizona, to confirm that Nothing really does sit in the middle of nowhere; and be regaled with colorful stories from the locals of Boogertown, North Carolina, about how the town got its name. So jump in the backseat of the car and get ready for an honest slice of apple-pie America, chock full of myths, legends, and laughs.• Gary Gladstone received the 1999 Award for Visual Excellence from the Image Bank, one of the nation's leading photo agencies.
- Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.06(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.43(d)
Meet the Author
GARY GLADSTONE has worked as a professional photographer for publications such as the New York Daily News, Life, Look, and The Saturday Evening Post. He is a popular lecturer and panelist who uses humor to entertain and inform his audiences. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley.
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Review: After hearing Gary Gladstone tell stories about his trips on Michael Feldman¿s National Public Radio show, I purchased a copy of his book. I expected a few chuckles but instead got treated to a simply wonderful collection of vivid and funny photo portraits of Americans who live in ridiculously named towns. Subjects stand there in Boogertown, NC, Hell, MI, Tightwad, MO and Suck-Egg Hollow, TN and somehow just make smile broadly. Gladstone has allowed these people to simply present themselves in the photos. These wonderful images are elegant but not gimmicky. Gladstone is a classic portraitist, presenting these people as honest icons of small town America. It¿s in the absolutely straight forward presentation that the humor is revealed. The ¿joke¿ forms only in the reader¿s mind. The reader is allowed to connect the dots to complete the joke. This is a fine line to walk as a writer/photographer. It¿s risky to leave things as they are and allow the reader to capture the funny part without shoving ¿knee-slapping¿ commentary down their throats. The portrait of Sweetlips, TN Resident J.C. Pickett, is worth the price of the book. This Popeye faced crumudgeonly looking subject with a long cigarette dangling from his lips is the antithetical Sweetlips. The book is presented with the elegance of a coffee table volume which is what makes the subjects even funnier. Gladstone¿s writing is funny and warm. His experiences on the American highway reveal a deep, but forgiving, concern for horrible coffee, bad breakfasts and smelly motel rooms and sometimes boisterous small town hospitality. I love this book. After a year of bad market war news, Passing Gas And Other Towns Along The American Highway: Portraits from the Heartland delivers a wonderful, funny and warm look, at our neighbors. ¿C. Harunderfold
Just pricelessly interesting and intriguing. These are really funny-named places and wonderfully interesting people. The photos are just super and they are of REAL folks, no models. Their stories and the stories of how some of these towns got their names makes this a great and fun volume of Americana. I'm ordering three for gifts. This is one item I know my friends don't have and they will love. Gina P.
At first I thought the title was just a little strange but after hearing Gladstone discuss this book discussed on NPR Radio, I bought a copy. What a surprise! The stories accompanying these funny portraits of real folks (that could be our neighbors) make ¿visiting¿ these remote towns pure fun. Gladstone has a keen eye for the little things about ordinary people and places. The photos really put regular folks right on stage where, instead of looking awkward, they seem to shine as super stars. In the stories, I caught a glimpse of some the hidden strengths and qualities that make this country so strong on the inside. The Suck Egg Hollow family is pure Americana complete with a story about the naming of that town from a horrible event. In Romance, the heroine saved her job as Post Master with incredible creativity. Citizens of places like Good Grief, Tightwad, Scratch Ankle and Peculiar, Boogertown and Ding Dong all shine in their portraits. I bought 5 copies as copies for my family and friends. (I¿ve never bought so many copies of one book, ever!) I know they will love the pictures and stories as much as I do.
Funny, great faces... great stories & unbelievable names. Dickshooter, Idaho? Yes!