• Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it

    Rick Bragg
  • This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven

    Rick Bragg
  • When you're a sportswriter, you learn how to use your imagination and to flex your literary muscle, because it's the same game played over and over again. There's nothing unique or marvelous. It's not an earthquake, or a weird mass murder. It's just the same old game played over and over, and you have to bring out the personalities. You have to drag them kicking and screaming out into the light of day, or you're not a good sportswriter

    Rick Bragg
  • In water so fine, a few minutes of bad memory all but disappear downstream, washed away by ten thousand belly busters, a million cannonballs. Paradise was never heaven-high when I was a boy but waist-deep, an oasis of cutoff blue jeans and raggedy Converse sneakers, sweating bottles of Nehi Grape and Orange Crush, and this stream. I remember the antidote of icy water against my blistered skin, and the taste of mushy tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches, unwrapped from twice-used aluminum foil. I saw my first water moccasin here, and my first real girl, and being a child of the foot washers I have sometimes wondered if this was my Eden, and my serpent. If it was, I didn't hold out any longer than that first poor fool did

    Rick Bragg
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