Lebanon, Illinois: The day I was given a key to a city.

My visit to Lebanon, Illinois in early February could only be described as a series of very fortunate events. Back in late November when I was in Boston, I had done an interview on NPR, the US national public radio, talking about my travels around the country and the Lebanons project. A few weeks later,…

Lebanon, Oklahoma: The Baptists and the Nothings.

I only spent one day in Lebanon, Oklahoma. A small town of 300 or so people, on the shores of Lake Texoma, where Texas peeks from its Southern tip. My photographer friend Dickie Hill drove from Dallas to join me, and we spent some time at the fire station, talking with Fire Chief Terry Hewitt and then grabbing…

Lebanon, Waupaca County, Wisconsin: Three vignettes

When I headed to Lebanon in Wisconsin’s Waupaca County, it was already late when I got to the nearby city of Clintonville. Judy, from Clintonville, Wisconsin. She’s a cook and waitress at a local restaurant, operated by the owner, Matthew, and her, where I stopped to eat on my way to Lebanon. When she was 14,…

Christmas in Pennsylvania, New Year in Kentucky

I’ve never been alone on Christmas. I always spent it with my family. As a kid, it was with my parents and brother and sister. In graduate school in San Francisco, it was with my aunt and cousins. Which is why this year I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the holidays; I’m in Lebanon, Pennsylvania by…