Monday, May 28, 2012

Percy, Foote, & Faulkner

Connecting more dots between myself, Faulkner & Oxford, and another pair of my favorite southern authors on Walker Percy's birthday.
Percy's early life was marked by tragedy: his grandfather and father both committed suicide with shotguns, and his mother drowned when her car ran off the road into a stream. When his uncle in Greenville, Mississippi, adopted Percy and his little brothers, things took a turn for the better; it was there that he met his lifelong best friend, the neighbor boy Shelby Foote. As teenagers they took a trip to Oxford to meet their hero, William Faulkner — Percy was so overwhelmed that he stayed in the car as Foote and Faulkner talked on the porch. The Joke That Got No Laughs by Hal Sirowitz | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
Funny. Last week my traveling companion (my brother-in-law) stayed with the car while I wandered the grounds of Rowan Oak too. But I wandered with the memorial spirit and not the very person of Count No 'count, nearly fifty years since his passing.

This "teahouse" at Brinkwood, near the University of the South at Sewanee, TN was constructed by young Walker Percy and his pal Shelby Foote in the '30s, visited by me in 1996, mentioned in this old post...

Faulkner's niece Dean Faulkner Wells recounts Percy's & Foote's own pilgrimage to Rowan Oak in 1938:

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