Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Author Spotlight - Jude Urbanski talks about "setting"
Chanute Crossing, my fictional town in Nurtured in Purple, is based on the long-ago town of Chanute in Pickett County, Tennessee. That Chanute today is called a populated place, not really a town at all. To me, the Chanute of present day is more like a small, small village. There is a church, turned community center, a cemetery and several houses along the Highway 127, heading northeast out of Static, Tennessee, which is nearly as small as Chanute.
I chose this as my setting because I have a very soft spot in my heart for this place. My ancestors came west to settle in Chanute or its surrounding areas and lived there for generations. I was whisked away at a very early age, but know my roots began there. Also, I chose the setting because long ago, my now-deceased mother, wrote sweet, nostalgic love stories with the same setting. She had a fictional name for her town, which was Snow Mountain, but I know it was Chanute, in her mind.
Photo Credit: Wolf River Bridge by: Chad Laytham
Many people, especially sportsmen, are familiar with Dale Hollow Lake. This man-made lake is a ‘sportsman’s paradise’ says the advertising. Mainly for fishermen or those who love boating. I can say the lake, the hills and valleys of Pickett County are truly beautiful. Very serene.
Indians roamed the hills as their great hunting ground before white settlers came to this wilderness in 1760. The area later became home to a couple noted individuals—Sargent Alvin C. York of World War I fame and Cordell Hull, political statesman. Mark Twain passed through the area for a while, but less savory men, like bootleggers and Confederate gorilla-fighter, Champ Ferguson, made up a goodly number of inhabitants of long ago. Sad to say, my great grandfather ran with the Ferguson group.
The people of today are friendly, hospitable and maintain many, charming southern customs.
From the map it’s seen Pickett county lies in what used to be called Middle Tennessee, just on the north side of the state and slightly east. I’ve included some photos, some of which are directly related to my books.
Enjoy your tour through Chanute Crossing! Think of Willard and Elizabeth.
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