“Being Country” by Bobbie Ann Mason It’s kind of crazy how stories you read can bring so many mental pictures in your mind of things you can relate to it. In Bobbie Ann Mason’s story, “Being Country”, I related very well to the country style of living. I, myself, lived in a very small country town in Texas, and know people just like the “country people” noted in Mason’s story. The subject I visualized a lot throughout reading this was the food. There is nothing better in the whole world than good ole’ southern cooking.
Back home in Texas I had a buddy that was a “country boy”, and anytime I went over to the Tapley’s house for dinner; I knew I was in for a treat. I can remember one night his mom came out with humungous steaks that they had just received from their last cattle. The juices all over the plate, the large ears of corn, the twice baked potatoes, and fresh green bean casserole had my saliva going bonkers in my mouth. I can still visualize the way the table was set with the decorative valentines table cloth and the silver utensils.
When I was reading about all of the different foods the mother making, it triggered my mind to go back and remember Mrs. Tapley in the kitchen slaving over all of the dishes. When dinner time came we all huddled around the table where Mr. Tapley said grace. I’m pretty sure it went a little like, “We thank god for the blessing to be able to grow our own food and for the prosperous seasons he has brought us and for the future. In God’s name, Amen. ” After that amen, we feasted. Myself and the Tapley’s filled our faces until our stomachs said no more.
During this obliteration of food I don’t recall us ever saying a word, just like in Mason’s essay it is a given that at the dinner table it is strictly about enjoying the meal that has been placed in front of you. No talking is necessary but there are the occasional jokes popped off usually by the head of the table. The imagery that has been placed in my head by Mason’s story has not only made me think solely upon the one experience I have explained. It makes me think about my town as a whole. The coffee shop in my town was smack dab in the middle of what Mason calls her “square” ours was the Brookshire’s enter. The coffee shop was across the street from the center of which also had our neighborhood groceries, Brookshire’s Grocery. Walking out of Brookshire’s you can always smell the Coffee shop’s rich fragrance of coffee bean no matter what time of the day. Recollections of my step dad walking out of the grocery store and saying the same thing Mason’s dad would say to her, “I hate that smell! ” Coffee isn’t my sort of thing either, but I do however love the smell of coffee in the morning. And walking out of brookshire’s was always heavenly smelling the Coffee Shop.
My most fond memory however was sparked when Mason starts talking about her grandmother. My grandmother was a country woman and grew up in Iowa on a farm herself. My grandma was always so conservative and would save any leftovers if possible because she grew up just like Mason says, “… haunted by the fear of crop failure. We ate as if we didn’t know where our next meal might come from. ” My grandmother was simply always scared we weren’t going to have enough food. When we would go to Brookshire’s she would always over stock the house with food.
Snacks, drinks, meals, dessert, soups and just about anything you could name has probably been through my house as well. She made so many meals that were just out of ingredients she threw together, and my brother and I were always the Guinea pigs. All my grandma would do is work around the house, cook and clean just like what Mason states about her grandmother when saying she doesn’t know any different. When thinking of my grandmother I think of a kind and gentle voice so in my head whenever I read what her grandma was saying I heard a voice much similar to my grandmother’s.
In conclusion, Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Being Country” really hit home to me. It showed me how imagery can play a big role in writing, and how it can really persuade the reader to keep reading. I now understand that the visual art must be consumed by the readers through the writer’s capabilities to trigger the readers mind. It is just up to the writer on whether or not they express their visual presentation well enough to the reader. “Being Country” definitely displayed it’s visual art to me by making me feel like I was back in my little Podunk town in Texas.