Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009


In lieu of an abstract, here is the article's first paragraph:

A couple of years ago, my wife gave me a book about my childhood hometown of Richland, Washington, a small desert city where I haven’t lived for more than twenty years. The book, a pleasantly slim volume simply titled Richland, is one in a series of photographic histories of communities around the United States published by Arcadia Publishing. Like all of Arcadia’s books, Richland is packed full of photographs, and its pages showed many of the buildings, neighborhoods, and desert landscapes that I had known intimately as a child but had mostly forgotten about after so many years. I was surprised, when I sat down to look at the book for the first time, to find myself filled with an intense nostalgia for a place I was always yearning to leave as a child. For hours that day I flipped through the pages, moving backward and forward, letting one visual cue after another spark memories from my childhood. I simply couldn’t put the book down. When we went to visit my brother, he too was quickly charmed by what he saw and we embarked on a lengthy remembrance of our shared past.


This article was published in the Columbia Journal of American Studies and is also available through the publisher's website:

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