Today’s post comes from Clyde in Mankato
My mail carrier on the North Shore used to joke about the range of mail I received. As a person actively involved in unions, I received a lot of liberal mail. As a pastor I received a lot of conservative mail. And, as a joke, students would fill in magazine subscription cards with teachers’ names. It was a bit of a hassle to stop these, but before I did, the hunting and fishing magazines supplied my name to ultra-conservative organizations. Sorry about that, Steve, but it is true. One of these promised to tell me the evils of public school teachers.
In my life I belonged to many subcultures. Small farm culture, neighborhood culture (three times), teacher culture, faculty room culture, North Shore culture, Iron Range culture, small church culture, lumberjack culture, union culture, University of Chicago culture, nursing home culture, taconite plant culture, team culture, coaching culture, railroading town culture, and many others, such small bar culture, which may surprise you. But I love small bars, especially the rural ones, especially in the north woods, of which there are many. In most of these cultures I was a sort of outsider, never quite at home.
When I write my short stories I try to use these many subcultures. It is fun to revisit some of them in my memory, some not so happily. Lumberjack culture and north woods bar culture are among my favorite things to write about.
I assume Babooners have belonged to many subcultures, too.
What have you learned from the culture’s to which you have belonged, willingly or unwillingly?