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This book is a tribute to some of America's greatest characters, people holding on to unique ways of life at all costs. A castle builder, a forty-year veteran Woolworth's lunch-counter waitress, a moonshiner, and the president of The Brooklyn Elite Checker Club are among this varied group of ordinary people who prevail against all odds. They are Dewey Chafin and Barbara Elkins, snake handlers for the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia; Amos Powers, caretaker of America's only coon-dog graveyard in Colbert County, Alabama; Dixie Evans, curator of Exotic World, Museum of Burlesque in Helendale, California; and Mike Gashwarza of the Hopi tribe, fighting against electricity being brought to Old Oraibi, Arizona, the oldest town in North America. David Isay's compelling, often humorous profiles are accompanied by Harvey Wang's wonderful portraits of fifty such people, die-hard individualists who speak for themselves, illuminating their remarkable lives and personalities. Henry Roth's foreword is a moving testament to the creativity, tenacity, and dignity these people possess.
David Isay is an award-winning radio producer and regular contributor to National Public Radio. He lives in New York City. Harvey Wang is a professional photographer living and working in New York City. His work appears in many magazines and periodicals and in Rock Wives and Where Have You Gone Vince Dimaggio? Henry Roth (1906-1995) spent his early years on Manhattan's Lower East Side. In 1914, the Roth family moved to Jewish Harlem. Roth died in Albuquerque, New Mexico.