Reading suggestion: Small-town America from the front porch

I’ve long believed that what’s killed the sense of community in America is the backyard deck and central air conditioning. When the front porch disappeared, so did a big chunk of our shared lives.

Everett Kuntz,, an Iowa native who settled in suburban Minneapolis before he died in 2003, loved the pictures of Ridgeway, Iowa that he took as a boy. As he was dying of cancer, his son promised to put them in a book. And a few months ago, he did.

“Sunday Afternoon on the Porch: Reflections of a Small Town in Iowa, 1939-1942″ has been released by the University of Iowa Press.

Today, the New York Times wrote a terrific story about the book. Unfortunately, the Times didn’t produce a slideshow to go along with it, which would have been as much fun as sitting and watching small-town America go by from the front porch.

I’ll bet that somewhere within arm’s reach — or maybe in an old box in the basement — you’ve got one picture from far in the past with a great story to tell. Dig it out and send it along. Tell me the story and maybe I’ll post a series of snapshots.

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