Monday, October 14, 2013

Social Realism Isn't Easy

They've turned the ruins of this old flour mill into a museum, and the exhibit we're currently admiring informs us that after the mill closed in 1965, it was abandoned, left to vagrants and the homeless, who sheltered from the vicious Minnesota winters within its walls.

Eventually, a careless campfire burned out of control, gutting the old building, and leaving the banks of the Mississippi in these parts bereft of industry. The rise and fall of the flour industry reflects in microcosm the rise and fall of of many industries in America, and this museum makes the wise choice of showing those changes through the eyes of the people who worked here.

"I want to write one of those historical novels, like those bricks that Michner wrote, about the flour industry, but I'm afraid I'd fuck it up," I tell Katie 

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