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Rick Bragg quotes (showing 1-30 of 60)

“Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“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
“It is a common condition of being poor... you are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away, because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.”
Rick Bragg
“But I hope I will never have a life that is not surrounded by books, by books that are bound in paper and cloth and glue, such perishable things for ideas have lasted thousands of years . . . I hope I am always walled in by the very weight and breadth and clumsy, inefficient, antiquated bulk of them, hope that I spend my last days on this Earth arranging and rearranging them on thrones of good, honest pine, oak, and mahogany, because I just like to look at their covers, and dream of the promise of the great stories inside.”
Rick Bragg
“Don’t worry about what people think, because once it’s all over the people who love you will make you what they want you to be, and the people who don’t love you will, too.”
Rick Bragg, The Prince of Frogtown
“Passion is something you really don't miss, after it has cooled. It is like looking at an empty bottle on the side of the road and thinking, "Boy, I wish I had a Coke." The loves you miss are the ones that go away when they are still warm, even hot, to the touch.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“I know I grew up in the time when a young man in a baggy suit and slicked-down hair stood spraddle-legged in the crossroads of history and talked hot and mean about the colored, giving my poor and desperate people a reason to feel superior to somebody, to anybody. I know that even as the words of George Wallace rang through my Alabama, the black family who lived down the dirt road from our house sent fresh-picked corn and other food to the poor white lady and her three sons, because they knew their daddy had run off, because hungry does not have a color.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“You do not hate the time you waste; it evokes a much more passive emotion than that. You only wish you had it back, like a quarter in an unlucky slot machine.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“Momma kept a garden, which sounds romantic to people who have never held a hoe”
Rick Bragg
“It was a good moment, the kind you would like to press between the pages of a book, or hide in your sock drawer, so you could touch it again.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“It is easy to be liked when the world has no jagged edges, when life is electric blankets and peach ice cream. But to be beloved, a man needs a dragon.”
Rick Bragg, Ava's Man
“This is home and home is not something you remember, it is something you see every day and every moment.”
Rick Bragg
tags: home
“But if she was going to live in a damn jungle, she preferred it be a damn jungle in Georgia, she always said, and never saw any reason to elaborate on that.”
Rick Bragg, Ava's Man
“But I hope I will never have a life that is not surrounded by books, by books that are bound in paper and cloth and glue, such perishable things for ideas that have lasted thousands of years, or just since the most recent Harry Potter. I hope I am always walled in by the very weight and breadth and clumsy, inefficient, antiquated bulk of them, hope I spend my last days on this Earth arranging and rearranging them on thrones of good, honest pine, oak, and mahogany, because they just feel good in my hands, because I just like to look at their covers, and dream of the promise of the great stories inside.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“One: Don't kill yourself.
Two: Don't kill each other.
Three: Try hard not to kill nobody else, but if you have to, better if it ain't fam'ly.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“It wasn't that I had gotten it right . . . but that I had gotten true.”
Rick Bragg
“The only thing poverty does is grind down your nerve endings to a point that you can work harder and stoop lower than most people are willing to. It chips away a person's dreams to the point that the hopelessness shows through, and the dreamer accepts that hard work and borrowed houses are all this life will ever be.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“I wonder if, north of here, they might even run out of stories someday. It may seem silly, but it is cold up there, too cold to mosey, to piddle, to loafer, and summer only lasts a week and a half. The people spit the words out so fast when they talk, like they are trying to discard them somehow, banish them, rather than relish the sound and the story. We will not run out of them here. We talk like we are tasting something.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“But I hope that I will never have a life that is not surrounded by books,
by books that are bound in paper and cloth and glue,
such perishable things for ideas that have lasted thousands of tears,
or just since the most recent Harry Potter.
I hope I am always walled in by the very weight and breadth
and clumsy, inefficient, antiquated bulk of them,
hope that I spend my last days on this Earth
arranging and rearranging them
on thrones of good, honest pine, oak, and mahogany,
because they just feel good in my hands,
because I just like to look at their covers,
and dream of the promise of the great stories inside.”
Rick Bragg
“To be a Southerner, or to live Southern, is to feel, well, something special even in the quiet, something fine in itself after all those rebel yells and fight songs have finally faded into silence.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“It wasn't that I had gotten it right . . . but that I had gotten it true.”
Rick Bragg
“The children start school now in August. They say it has to do with air-conditioning, but I know sadism when I see it.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“I know how silly and paranoid that sounds, especially coming from a man who gets a perverse thrill from taking chances. But it is a common condition of being poor white trash: you are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away, because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“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
“Mama just stepped back on the treadmill of worry and hopeless, and kept walking.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“If one piddles correctly, time just goes away, without regret on the part of the piddler, or even any particular notice.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“They, especially, taught me that you can't go through life not liking people because they didn't have to work as hard or come as far as you did.”
Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'
“I once banged out a story in Peshawar, Pakistan, while eating a chicken salad sandwich, as demonstrators shouted their displeasure of all things American in the glow of burning flags and some steel-edged radials. I was told, by well-meaning people, that I should tell the angry crowds that I was, in fact, Canadian.
I just looked at them.
How in the world do you pretend to be from Calgary, when you talk like me?
I thought briefly, I would say I was from Alabama, and hope they didn’t know exactly where that was, but I am pretty sure that, if I had, someone would answer back:
“Roll Tide.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
“We are good at stories. We hoard them, like an old woman in a room full of boxes, but now and then we pull out our best, and spread them out. We talk of the bad years when the cotton didn't open, and the day my cousin Wanda was washed in the Blood. We buff our beloved ancestors until they are smooth of sin, and give our scoundrels a hard shake, although sometimes we can't remember exactly which is who.”
Rick Bragg
“Like most men, Jimmy Jim was neither all good nor all bad. It is just that when he was bad, gentler people saw in him a disturbing fury. People, a lot them, don't understand fury. They understand anger and even hatred, but fury is one of those old words that have gone out of style. Jimmy Jim Bundrum understood it. It rode his shoulder like a parrot.”
Rick Bragg, Ava's Man
tags: fury

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