May 16, 2004

John Steinbeck on historical markers

thebiblioholic noted this quote from John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley in Search of America. I like it too.
I am an avid reader of all signs, and I find that in the historical markers the prose of statehood reaches its glorious best, and most lyric. I have further established, at least to my own satisfaction, that those states with the shortest histories and the least world-shaking events have the most historical markers. Some Western states even find glory in half-forgotten murders and bank robberies. The towns not to be left behind proudly announce their celebrated sons, so the traveler is informed by signs and banners--Birthplace of Elvis Presley, of Cole Porter, of Alan P. Huggins.
The upstate New York town of Canastota proudly calls itself "Title Town USA" and houses the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Population: 4,425 as of 2000.

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